Kathmandu: Amid ongoing criticism by the Opposition in Nepal, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday came to India's defence over the 'Akhand Bharat Map' placed in the new Parliament building.
Nepal's opposition parties, including the CPN--UML, have opposed the map which shows Nepal as part of the ancient Indian landmass and asked the government in Kathmandu to take up the matter with India.
Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Prachanda, as the Prime Minister is popularly known, said that the map is not political and he had raised the issue during his recently-concluded India visit during which he met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and other top leaders. "We raised the issue of the new Indian map which is placed in Parliament. We have not made a detailed stud but as reported in the media, we raised this issue on a serious note. But in its response, the Indian side said that it was a cultural and historic map and not a political one. This should not be seen as a political way. It needs to be studied. But I have raised it," he said.
Prachanda has been facing ire from opposition parties on his India visit which they termed as not successful and productive as the Prime Minister has been claiming otherwise. Several agreements and understandings were reached during the visit.
Opposition party leaders have been mocking the bringing of 15 Murrah buffalos from India for breeding purposes and termed it as only one successful agreement done in the visit. Prachanda is also facing strong opposition for his proposal to swap land with India in order to resolve the boundary dispute.
Citing the suggestions from experts, he had said that Nepal and India could swap the land like what India and Bangladesh did reach a land swapping agreement in 2015. Some experts are suggesting that Nepal can take the "chicken neck" that connects India with Bangladesh in order to resolve the boundary dispute in Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura.
Boundary disputes have been taking place in the areas which are currently under Indian territory.
But the Nepali side has been claiming it as its territory since long. In response to Indian claims, the Nepal government in 2020 issued a new political map incorporating Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura as its part of territory.
This dispute has brought the bilateral ties to an all time low. "From the 1950s peace and friendship treaty to the boundary row, during my visit to India, we discussed several issues that matter to us. We want to resolve these disputes and differences through the talks and diplomatic means and for that we need a trust," the Prime Minister added.