KATHMANDU: The Indian Army Chief on Friday, made a contentious statement hinting that Nepal might have raised the border issue at ‘someone else’s behest.’
Indian army Chief General MM Naravane, oriented a talk, namely COVID-19 and Indian Army: Response and Beyond, today, at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Responding to the questions raised by the participants amid the webminar, General Naravane said that it is very much a possibility that Nepal had raised the issue at ‘someone’s behest’ without directly elaborating on who that someone else is.
Although the Army Chief did not mention the name explicitly, while alleging the involvement of a third-party in the diplomatic row between Nepal and India, one can gather that the accusations point towards Nepal’s northern neighbours, China, as tensions have been looming at the Sino-India borders since a few days.
Moreover, he claimed that Nepal’s resentment on the issue was baseless since the recent trade route had been built on Indian territory.
These comments, which come at critical times while efforts are underway to resolve the matter through diplomatic efforts between Nepal and India, could further stir up tensions across borders.
India on October 31, 2019 had published a controversial political map of India annexing a disputed land in its territory. The issue circulated when Nepal alleged Indian of encroaching Nepali territories–Kalapani, Limpiya Dhura and Lipulekh. The matter resurfaced recently as India unilaterally inaugurated a trade route through Limpiya Dhura, that has caused a widespread outrage amongst the Nepali nationals, while some even took to the streets to condemn the action of their neighbours even ignoring threats posed by the global health crisis.
Source: The Indian Express