Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Published: June 18, 2020 12:31:15 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli. (AP Photo/File)
A day ahead of voting in the Upper House on a constitution amendment Bill seeking approval for the country’s new map that includes territories with India, Nepal’s Army chief General Purna Chandra Thapa inspected a new security post at Changru near Kalapani Wednesday.
Nepal has been staking claim to Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and this has sparked off a boundary row between the two countries.
Genera Thapa was accompanied by Shailendra Khanal, Chief of the Armed Police Force that guards Nepal’s borders.
The new APF post was set up after the May 8 inauguration of the Dharchula-Lipulekh road on the Mansarovar Yatra trail by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Nepal Army and Indian Army have cordial institutional relations and their chiefs enjoy the status of Honorary General of each other’s army.
Indian Army chief General MM Naravane’s remark last month that “there is reason to believe” that Kathmandu’s objection to the road via Lipulekh has been “at the behest of someone else” — hinting at China’s possible role – did not go down well with Nepal.
Since then, the government has also fast-tracked the passage of the Bill to approve its new map. Cleared unanimously by the House of Representatives, the Bill is now in the Rastriya Sabha which is scheduled to vote Thursday. Once cleared by Parliament, it will be sent to the President for assent.
On June 13, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, reacting to the passage of the Bill in the House of Representatives, dismissed “this artificial enlargement of claims” as “not based on historical fact or evidence” and “violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues”.
Nepal’s political parties, while rallying behind the government move to “reclaim” territory “encroached” by India, have also been calling for talks with New Delhi.
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