New Delhi: India on Wednesday flayed Nepal government for what it said trying to lay claims on "artificial enlargement" of territory and asserted such moves will not be accepted by India.
"The Government of Nepal has released a revised official map of Nepal today that includes parts of Indian territory. This unilateral act is not based on historical facts and evidence," MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in reply to a question.
"It is contrary to the bilateral understanding to resolve the outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue. Such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Nepal government launched a new map at a media conference in Kathmandu. Nepal Minister of Land Management Padma Kumari Aryal said on the occasion that the government of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli is committed to protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
"It is a historical moment of happiness for the people of Nepal. The government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli will uphold the prestige of Nepal. We will publish the new map and make it a part of the school textbooks," she said.
India said Nepal government should return to the dialogue process. Incidentally and not without reasons, the release of the new map took place close on the heels of Nepal Prime Minister Oli targeted India for alleged attempts at regional domination.
The diplomatic row began on May 8 after defence minister Rajnath Singh opened an 80-km road that ends at Lipulekh Pass on the border with China. The road was built so that pilgrims going to Kailash-Mansarovar in the Tibet Autonomous Region can avoid dangerous high-altitude routes through Sikkim and Nepal.
On May 8, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had inaugurated a road that connects the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand with Kailash Mansarovar route in China. Kathmandu said the road was built inside its borders and the claims have been obviously denied by India.
MEA spokesman further said: "Nepal is well aware of India's consistent position on this matter and we urge the Government of Nepal to refrain from such unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
India hopes that the Nepalese leadership will "create a positive atmosphere" for diplomatic dialogue to resolve the outstanding boundary issues, he said. Nepal and India share a 1,800 km open border.
Earlier this week, the Nepal cabinet endorsed a new political map that incorporates Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani as part of its territory. It is the first time Nepal is staking claim to Limpiyadhura though it had earlier also claimed Lipulekh and Kalapani.
In 1816, Nepal had agreed about its borders with the then British colonial masters, but there have been rows in the last few decades.