Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali is scheduled to visit India on 14th January to discuss a gamut of issues including territorial issues that triggered tension between the neighbors last year.  During his visit last year, Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had extended an invitation to the Nepalese Minister on behalf of the MEA for the next round of India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting. The visit was originally planned to take place in December last year but got postponed due to political tension in Nepal.

Last year Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand. Nepal objected to the inauguration and officially launched its new political map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. It also amended its constitution to reflect the cartographic revision.

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Ministry of External Affairs released a statement last year that said, “Nepal is well aware of India’s consistent position on this matter and we urge the Government of Nepal to refrain from such unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope that the Nepalese leadership will create a positive atmosphere for diplomatic dialogue to resolve the outstanding boundary issues.”

Nepal claims that these territories belong to it under the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 whereas India maintains that the territories belong to it and the unilateral action is not based on historical facts and evidence.

However this action should not be judged in isolation. Last year, India updated its map on November 2, which included Kalapani, an area that Nepal claims to be its territory.