Kathmandu: Nepal has stopped the distribution of a new text book that includes the country's revised political map showing three strategically-important Indian areas as part of its territory, saying there were a number of factual errors in it, according to a media report.
India has already termed as untenable the 'artificial enlargement' of the territorial claims by Nepal after its Parliament unanimously approved the new political map of the country featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas which India maintains belongs to it.
A Cabinet meeting instructed the Ministry of Education not to distribute and print any more copies of the text book meant for class IXth to XIIth as there were some reservations from the Ministry of Land Management and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Kathmandu Post reported.
“The Ministry of Education does not have the authority to change Nepal’s geographical area and there are faults in the book,” said spokesperson for the Ministry of Land Reform and Cooperatives Janak Raj Joshi. There are errors in the book prepared by the Ministry of Education on a subject it has no expertise, he said, adding that the higher authorities have been asked to take corrective measures.
The concerned body of the Nepal government is yet to officially declare the revised geographical area of the country. “The Department of Survey, which is the official agency that declares the total area of the country, however, hasn’t made any decision on the area,” Joshi said. Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel on September 15 released the 110-page book titled, Self Study Material on Nepal’s Territory and Border which dwells around historical facts about the country’s territory and its border dispute mainly with India.
The book states Nepal’s new area to be 147,641.28 square km including the 460.28 sq km area of the Kalapani area which was included in Nepal’s political map on May 20 by the Cabinet. Pokharel has written a six-page preface for the book in which he has mentioned about Nepal’s border disputes and other related issues. He said that he had launched a campaign to protect the Nepalese territory, including the areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. However, Pokharel told The Kathmandu Post that the distribution of the book has been halted for now.