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Onus to build positive and conducive environment for talks on Nepal: Indian govt sources on map row

India always responded positively on talks with Nepal and reached out recently, just before they passed the amendment bill in the lower house, government sources said.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Nepal counterpart KP Sharma Oli
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The onus of building a positive and conducive environment for talks with India lies with the Nepal government, official sources said on Monday as Kathamandu passed a new political map showing Indian territory as its own. 

The release of a new political map was part of a "myopic" agenda to score political gains by the Nepalese government and was an attempt to politicise the boundary issue with India, sources said. 

The move reflected that Kathmandu was not serious in resolving the decades-old issue through dialogue, it said. 

Nepal had earlier passed a new political map of the country featuring disputed areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand. The lower house of Nepal's Parliament approved the new map last week. 

India had called the new map an "artificial enlargement" of territorial claim which was untenable.

"These actions are myopic and self-serving to further a limited political agenda," government sources said on Monday. 

On the chances of talks between the two countries, they said, "India always responded positively on talks with Nepal and reached out recently, just before they passed the amendment bill in the lower house. Virtual talks and Foreign Secy visit were offered, but PM Oli went ahead. Surprising why he didn't tell his citizens about India's offer."

"Nepal has created a difficult situation, now it is up to their government to build a positive and conducive environment for talks," sources said. 

The sources also reacted to Oli's claim that there was a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nepal due to the people who had gone back to the country from India.

"It is a false and distorted claim. Both the countries agreed on a number of citizens to be taken in. Once a person crosses the border it is the responsibility of the respective govt to take care of quarantine and follow up," sources said.

"Recently we are seeing a surge in no. of COVID19 cases in Nepal due to inadequate testing. Many Nepali citizens from all over the world are returning to their country, India also facilitated their return. Singling out India for COVID19 spread is surprising," they added. 

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