Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwor Pokhrel said that the 'Satyamewa Jayate', i.e. Truth shall prevail. He also said that the government of Nepal had expressed its objection to the bilateral understanding between India and China regarding construction of a road in that area.
“It is but natural not to have proper information on time regarding the desirable and undesirable activities taking place in that area owing to the lack of physical infrastructures, the geographical remoteness, adverse weather and lack of communication means. In the meantime, it is found that India has opened up the track of the road linking Mansarovar of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
Speaking to executive Chairman of Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) Shyamal Adhikari and Senior Reporter Prakash Silwal, minister Pokharel said that the present government had proposed talks with India on the matter by sending a diplomatic note to the Government of India immediately after it issued its new political and administrative map on November 2 last year.
He said that the Indian side's tendency of intimidation and of not becoming mindful of a neighbour's sensitivity has been seen even after that. India sought to take advantage of the remote geography of the border area and of the weakness related to the absence of Nepal's administrative presence there.
Minister Pokharel it is in this context we again expressed our objection and urged India to come to talks after news came that the Indian Defence Minister inaugurated the road in that area.
“I had briefed the Prime Minister about the ground reality that I saw and found there after I returned. My visit has further helped to ensure the immediate works that need to be done from the government's side. As a result, we have set up the border outpost (BOP) of the Armed Police Force at Chhangru of Darchula. A new revised political and administrative map of Nepal has been issued,” said Minister Pokharel.
“Now, serious political and diplomatic initiatives have to be immediately pursued on the basis of the combined force based on common and unified stance of the political forces of the entire nation as well as of historical facts and evidences. Infrastructure development and comprehensive security plan needs to be implemented in that area. Especially, it is utterly necessary to construct 87 kilometres road from the Darchula district headquarters up to Tinkar Bhanjyang. My visit to Darchula was also in connection to construction of this road.”
The village called Chhangru is located at a strategically important point leading to Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani areas. Going leftwards from this village one gets to these areas while going towards right one reaches to Tinkar Bhanjyang and from there up to Taklakot. Although construction of a 87-kilometre road from the district headquarters to Tinkar Bhanjyang had been started in 2065 BS, it could not move ahead. I had visited Darchula before a decision was made to give to the Nepali Army the responsibility of constructing that proposed road at a time when even the contract for the construction of this road considered very difficult was not coming by.
He said that Nepal can establish its claim over its territories and protect its borders on the basis of historical facts, evidences and the united resolve of national forces. This resolve is also expressed in the government's policy and programmes the President presented in the Parliament. The government is committed to protect its land.
Minister Pokharel said that the Indian media has stood against Nepal in a superficial manner. “This will also tarnish and pollute the Indian society. In fact the media there seems to represent the character of the State. We may also have some shortcomings in this regard,” Minister Pokharel said.
“We suffered significant damage in terms of consolidating our nationality, also because of the long instability. We just started our journey of stability. We have to work in an organized manner. If the government has some shortcomings then it should have been asked to correct it, instead the notion that a new government can be formed as this one has completed two years is being promoted. Hence, we need to make the communications channel of the State more effective and stronger to wipe out such illusion and disseminate the facts.
“We have been proposing to resolve the problem through diplomatic dialogue. In the meantime, comments from the Indian state side are seen to have come in an embarrassing manner. Such statements are objectionable for a prideful Nepal. The world knows, Nepal has never been subdued in world history. It would not be virtuous to blame such a nation of acting for being incited by others. No matter what background and circumstance is it based on, such statements are an effort to offend sovereign and independent Nepal and prideful Nepalis. This is condemnable. Such statement is an insulting statement made by ignoring Nepal's history, our social characteristics and freedom. With this, the Indian CoAS has also hurt the sentiments of the Nepali Gurkha army personnel who lay down their lives to protect India. It must now become difficult for them to stand tall in front of the Gurkha forces. They will also tell them that Nepali people speak from their heart and don't need to be provoked to speak out.”
In fact, the statement by the Indian CoAS seems to be a political stunt. How professional is it for the head of the Army to make a political statement?
We don't have anything like that here. Nepali Army does not go vocal on such matter. Army is not there to speak. Nepali Army is a fully professional military force. It would definitely play its role in the right time, as per the directives of the government based on our Constitution.
Our army is deputed and mobilized in the responsibility entrusted by the government as guided by the Constitution. If needed, it will fight. We are fully confident over the ability, integrity and professionalism of our national army. And not only the army, friends must understand that given the situation all the Nepali people are soldiers of the nation. We are well aware about the comments made with the intention of dragging the Nepali Army into a dispute, by saying that it did not respond on the matter. Some elements also seem to say that the Nepali Army should be mobilized to capture the territory but we have to act with patience and perseverance. India is our friendly state. The lost Nepali territory must be returned through peaceful political dialogue and through diplomatic channel, and I am confident that it is possible.
He said that Nepal wanted to publish the map in a matured and justified manner. He said that Nepal were looking forward to having a dialogue for it. But we did not receive any immediate positive response to the communication we sent.
We are for resolution through bilateral talks. But if one side does not respect the other, then this incident may prove very costly. His statement that it was unexpected of Nepal to have become agitated over the road constructed west of Kali river seems to have come not as a bilateral issue with Nepal but in the international political context of India. In fact, Limpiyadhura is the origin of Kali river, and not Lipulek. I don't think India does not understand this history and geographical fact. As a result, the territory east of Kali river belongs to Nepal, it belongs to us. The territory west from the river falls in India, and we don't claim it.
“We are ready with historical facts and evidences. They may have been some shortcomings in similar talks held in the past on many occasion and in international treaties and agreements. Some things may have been missed out, but as far as our border with India is concerned, nobody can deny the historical facts and evidence that we hold. The nation is united on this matter. As a close and friendly state of Nepal, India should give a positive response. It should not hurt the Nepali sentiment.”
“Like any other country, we too have our strengths and weaknesses. There is no comparison in terms of size or preparation. Nepal is Nepal and India is India. We don't bow before anyone on matters of freedom and independence. We will put forth everything in clear terms in the dialogue. Such a dialogue will be held not based on mind matters but with facts and evidences. And we have sufficient ground for it. As I said earlier, we will now focus our attention in infrastructure and development in the bordering region of Darchula. We will put to end the unfortunate state of having to travel via foreign land to reach to our own territory. We will work towards fulfilling the needs of the people there.’
“Lately, I have not had a dialogue with my Indian counterpart. He has invited me to visit India, I have also invited him for a visit to Nepal. Prime Minister Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been talking to one another in one way or the other. As the Prime Minister said in the parliament, whether India wants 'truth to prevail', we should be sitting for a dialogue on the same premise at different levels.”
“We do not want Nepal to become a nation locked with any particular country only, but a land-linked country with transportation and transit with all. We want to equip our state agencies with technology and machinery. And, I reiterate that Nepali Army is a professional army. It does not give out political statements. This is associated with Nepal's unification and national self-pride. Any political conspiracy to weaken it will not be successful. We are in the quest for the victory of truth.”