KATHMANDU: Central member of the Nepali Congress (NC), the main opposition party, Jivan Bahadur Shahi represents the Province Assembly of Karnali Province. A former Minister for Tourism in the Federal Government, Shahi is also a skilled pilot.
A native of Humla, the district now is the talk of the town amid reports that China has constructed nine buildings intruding the Nepali territory. He had recently been to Lapcha of Humla district.
Despite the government’s clarification that China has not encroached or intruded into Nepal’s land, Shahi claims to have got substantive evidence of the encroachment.
Speaking to Khabarhub, Shahi informed his plan of sharing the details of the findings of his field visit in the border area. Excerpts of the interview that Amrit Raj Kafle took with him:
You had been out for the field visit of the areas where China is said to have encroached Nepali territory. What are your findings?
Yes, I am still in the field. As Humla has been my home district, I have been here to have detailed information about the encroached upon the land.
We had informed the government that China has encroached on Nepal’s land and has even started to construct structures crossing our borderline at Pillar 12.
The government, however, has reiterated that Nepal’s land has not been encroached. We had constructed our road beyond some kilometers beyond where China has built these structures.
Although, few government officials were also in the field visit, and had felt foul; I am not sure why the government says China has not intruded our territory.
The basic principle of boundary pillars is that whenever a new pillar has to be set up, it should first be settled in coordination with the officials of both sides. However, this principle has been breached.
Pillar 12 is newly constructed lopsidedly by China.
What else did you see there?
The life is made a hell here. The people of the border area are suffering a lot. Candidly speaking about the encroachment, China has suspended permission to the trucks laden with food supply meant for the people of Humla.
International transit laws, meanwhile, say that the transit route should not be suspended.
The telephone tower I tried to install in the area has been disrupted by China until now compelling the locals to use Chinese signal and Chinese tower.
The Junge Pillar 12 has been recently constructed erected by China. The government officials say they have not been consulted about such issues.
The Pillars 5.1 and 6.1 have been enclosed as there are Chinese security forces.
Our people have been chased away by Chinese security when they go to the area there for farming or cattle-rearing. There is ample evidence that shows that Nepal’s territory has been encroached.
The government, without trying to acknowledge the reality, has denied any encroachment by China. I have brought evidence of encroachment. I can even provide you the evidence when needed.
Can you further explain the situation there?
There is the slope in the west-north of the construction site. We had constructed a road on that slope.
They have intruded 2-3 km road that we had constructed before. The land of Lapcha from where one can see the Manasarovar is captured by the Chinese side.
They have arranged the GPS in such a way that it signals two km inside Nepali land as theirs.
You are the leader of the main opposition party in the Province Assembly. What is your advice to the government?
Once I return to Simikot, I will prepare a report and submit it to the NC Central Committee. The party will decide further on the issue.
I have come to know that the Assistant Chief District Officer of Humla has been asked to apologize for speaking the truth. I will raise these issues in the Province Assembly as well.