Nepal and India in Row Over Road to Hindu Holy Site in Tibet

NEW DELHI/BEIJING/KATHMANDU, May 10, 2020 : Nepal has asked India “to refrain from carrying out any activity inside its territory” after expressing regret over New Delhi’s inauguration of a link road in the disputed territory at a strategic three-way junction with Nepal and Tibet at Lipulekh Pass. “This unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries including at the level of prime ministers that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation,” Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday. Nepal’s statement comes a day after Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 50-mile link road to Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route through Lipulekh Pass, a disputed territory currently under control of Indian border security forces. Kailash-Mansarovar is an important Hindu religious site in Tibet.

Replying to Nepal’s statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said that the road “lies completely within the territory of India.” “India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal,” a ministry spokesperson said. Kathmandu has long maintained claims over the highly strategic areas of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh although the areas have been policed by Indian troops since India fought a brief war with China in 1962.