South Asia and Beyond

India-Nepal Cartographic War: The Friction Points

NEW DELHI: A sliver of land over which India and Nepal have contesting claims has strained ties between the neighbours that share a long and porous border. Tension over territorial claims has been simmering since November last year after India showed Kalapani as part of a new map it issued that month and Nepal sought a meeting at the foreign secretary-level to discuss the matter. Matters came to a boil in early May this year after India inaugurated a link road that leads to Lipulekh Pass. Nepal claims this area as well as Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its own. It prompted Nepal to issue a new map staking claim to Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura–all three areas are currently under India’s control. India responded by describing it as “unjustified cartographic aggression”. Yet, Nepal went ahead and introduced a constitution amendment bill in Parliament on May 31 to replace the old Nepal map with the new one on its national emblem. On June 9, the Bill was tabled in the Nepalese Parliament’s lower house for consideration. It is expected to have an easy passage on Friday with the Opposition Nepali Congress backing it.

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Parul Chandra

Professional newshound, have navigated through typewriters, computers and mobile phones during my over three-decade-long career working in some of India's finest newsrooms (The Times of India, Financial Express). Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan are my focus, also Sri Lanka (when boss permits). Age and arthritis (that's a joke) have not dimmed the thrill of chasing a story. Loves music, animals and pasta.