By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 15, 2020 1:43:01 pm
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India will sort out the ‘misunderstanding’ with Nepal. (File)
Two days after Nepal’s House of Representatives passed a constitution amendment Bill to approve the country’s new map that includes Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday that India would sort out the “misunderstanding” with the neighbouring country through dialogue.
At the same time, Singh asserted that the road built by India till Lipulekh Pass was very much in its territory. The road is on the route of the annual Kailash Masarovar Yatra, which goes through Uttarakhand’s Pithoragath district.
Speaking at a virtual rally for Uttarakhand, Rajnath Singh said, “If the road built by India has caused any misunderstanding among the people of Nepal, then it will be sorted out through dialogue.”
Underscoring the deep ties between the two countries, the Defence Minister said India and Nepal were bound together by “roti and beti” and no power in the world could break it. This comes after Army Chief General MM Naravane recently said that Nepal’s protest was at “someone else’s behest” — hinting at China.
“Our rations are not only historical and cultural, but also spiritual, and India can never forget it. How can relations between India and Nepal break!” Rajnath Singh said.
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, who had been very critical of India over the boundary issue, has also vouched for talks with India.
After the passage of the Bill, Oli told reporters outside the House: “The first course is now over. And now dialogue with India will be the next course. I am happy about this unprecedented unity.”
Delhi’s immediate response was frosty given that the two countries were staring at a diplomatic crisis. Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said: “This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues.”
The Bill was tabled in the Nepal Upper House on Sunday. The passage of the Bill appears to be a formality given that 50 of the 59 members of the Upper House are from the ruling Nepal Communist Party. Members cutting across party lines have already backed the Bill.
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