NEW DELHI:The LAC violence has come at a time India faces some serious challenges in its neighbourhood, most notably in Nepal where a belligerent and pro-China government seems to believe it can rid the
strategic Lipulekh Pass
on the India-Nepal-China tri-junction of India’s presence, much to
Compounding the problem for India, Nepal’s territorial adventurism in the form of its new map has gone almost hand-in-hand with Sino-Indian border strife.
Indian Army chief General M M Naravane had earlier insinuated that China may have a hand in Nepal’s decision to strongly protest India’s inauguration of a road to Lipulekh Pass. The government has been left wondering if the road was enough provocation for the K P Oli government to issue a new map of Nepal claiming territories —
and Lipulekh — held by India.
According to Indian government sources, while India had earlier said it was willing to hold talks on the boundary issue after dealing with the Covid-19 threat, it had recently even offered a virtual meeting between the foreign secretaries. Nepal, government sources said, didn’t accept the offer.
According to a strategic affairs expert, Nepal’s constitutional change to claim an Indian tri-border area was tacitly driven by China, whose ambassador in
has become Nepal’s “matriarch”.
“Nepal’s communist rulers must know that their provocative step, far from helping to change facts on the ground, will narrow their choices and push them right into China’s lap. In effect, they have cut off their nose to spite their face,” he said, adding a Nepal that was firmly in China’s orbit would pay a price in terms of its autonomy and sovereignty.
The constitution amendment bill for revision of the map in Nepal’s emblem is still pending with the upper House of Nepal’s Parliament. The manner in which the Oli government has fast-tracked the whole process of validating the new map has left many here racking their brains as to the urgency driving Nepal. “These actions are myopic and self-serving to further a limited political agenda,” a source said, reflecting India’s assessment of the situation.