Nepal's Leader Prachanda Raises Objection to Sino-Indian Trade Pact

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Nepal's Leader Prachanda Raises Objection to Sino-Indian Trade Pact

File Photo: Nepalese Leader Prachanda

Kathmandu:  Nepal's main opposition Unified CPN-Maoist party leader Prachanda has objected to a Sino-Indian deal to use as a trade route a disputed territory located in far-western Nepal near the tri-country border.

Mr Prachanda has raised the matter in protest letters to Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Sushil Koirala of Nepal, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The letter urged India and China to "rectify" the May 25 bilateral pact between New Delhi and Beijing on Lipulekh, a disputed land situated in the far-west Nepal, according to party sources.

In the letter Mr Prachanda said the agreement between India and China to use Lipulekh as a bilateral trade route goes against the provisions of the historic Sugauali Treaty signed by Nepal and India during the British rule in 1816.

Mr Prachanda said Lipulekh was closely linked with Nepal's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and urged both India and China to honour it.

As per the letter, the Sugauali Treaty clearly states that the territories east of Kali river belong to Nepal.

"We believe that paragraph 28 of the joint statement between India and China incorporating Lipulekh as a bilateral trade route between the two countries runs against the provisions of the Treaty Sugauli, 1816, between Nepal and India," writes Mr Prachanda.

The letters have been sent to both the governments of India and China through their embassies in Kathmandu.

A copy of the statement was also handed over to Prime Minister Koirala.

Receiving the letter from a Maoist delegation, Koirala said that he will "take up the matter with the respective governments through diplomatic channels".

He urged India and China to take necessary diplomatic initiative to address "this genuine concern of the Nepalese people by making appropriate correction in the agreement".

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