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Nepal objects to India-China trade pact via Lipu-Lekh Pass

PTI 09 Jun 2015, 23:21:42 PM IST

Kathmandu:  Nepal's Parliament today raised serious objection over an agreement between India and China to boost border trade  at Qiangla/Lipu-Lekh Pass, close to an area which Nepal claims to be part of its territory and asked both countries to correct their pact immediately.

A meeting of Nepal Parliament's International Relations and Labour Committee said the India-China agreement, made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to China, was against international norms and values at a time when Nepal and India are working to resolve the boundary issues.

During Modi's China visit, India and China agreed to expand border trade  at Qiangla/Lipu-Lekh Pass, a far western point of Nepal, near Kalapani.

One of the points of the joint communique issued on May 15 in Beijing, mentioned that "the two sides recognised that enhancing border areas cooperation through border trade, pilgrimage by people of the two countries and other exchanges can effectively promote mutual trust, and agreed to further broaden this cooperation so as to transform the border into a bridge of cooperation and exchanges".

The far west border point Kalapani is a disputed border area between Nepal and India.

Lipu-Lekh, is the last point of Nepal's border with China and India and known as an ancient route for traders  and pilgrims transiting between Nepal and Tibet.

China has regarded the area as a tri-junction boundary point between Nepal, India and China and a Lipu-Lekh is at a very strategic location, said the House panel.

It instructed the ministry of foreign affairs to find out what the deal was between India and China and that the people of Nepal should know whether that accord would undermine Nepal's sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national interest.

The panel also instructed the foreign ministry to conduct a study over the deal, and take up the matter with India and China while urging both the neighbours to correct their agreement pact immediately.