Shortly after the communist government of Nepal received unanimous approval of the lower house of the country's Parliament to a new map depicting Indian territories in its new political map, several political leaders have lashed out at the neighbouring country. Senior Congress leader Karan Singh expressed his concerns about the escalating Indo-Nepal border dispute while lashing out at the Indian government.

Nepal's new map depicts disputed lands of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as Nepalese territories, a move heavily criticised by India. The Centre said such "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims won't be acceptable. But Singh said the long-standing dispute's sudden escalation in the last few days is a result of "serious diplomatic lapse."

Karan Singh lashes out at government

Karan Singh
Karan SinghIANS

"As one who has been closely associated both personally and politically with Nepal over several decades, I must express my sense of deep regret and dismay that Prime Minister Oli (of Nepal) has moved the country into what can only be described as an irreversible confrontational posture vis-à-vis India despite the profound social, cultural, religious, economic and political relations between our two countries that go back many centuries," Singh said in a statement.

'Consequences of serious diplomatic lapse'

India Nepal border

Singh was deputed by then PM Manmohan Singh as a part of a Special Envoy to meet political leaders of Nepal to resolve the disputes between the neighbouring countries. Singh has now lashed out at the Indian government for not resolving the dispute through Foreign Secretary-level talks and if necessary involve the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister. He fears the people of Nepal will bear the brunt of these escalating tensions.

"Although the dispute in question is a long-standing one, it was, if I recall correctly, raised by Nepal in November last year. Surprisingly, we did not seem to take the matter seriously," the former Union minister said. "Prima-facie, this appears to have been a serious diplomatic lapse, the consequences of which are before us."