Nepal’s territorial claim could give China a geopolitical advantage in the region
New Delhi, June 15: New Delhi would find it extremely difficult to work with Nepal, which is all set to endorse its new map in its upper house as well.
On Sunday, the upper house of the Nepalese parliament accepted the proposal to consider the bill to amend the country's Constitution to endorse the new map which included the territory claimed by India- Lipulekh Pass, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani.
This territorial claim has become an irritant for India's relations with Nepal. This would also give China the advantage as it has been competing with India for geopolitical influence over Nepal.
The developments come at a time, when India is holding talks amidst a tense stand off with China along the Line of Actual Control. India is also keeping a close watch on the developments with Nepal as it would also alter its standing at the SAARC.
Meanwhile, India has termed this development as untenable, the fact remains that this development in Nepal remains a mere formality. India has said that this exercise would seal dialogue with Nepal.
While Nepal has been accusing India of not offering dialogue, a top official in New Delhi tells OneIndia that an offer for foreign secretary-level talks and a video conference between the foreign secretaries were made. This was infact made even before the amendment bill was tabled in Nepal.
However, Prime Minister of Nepal K P Oli seemed disinterested in the offer. The reasoning behind this can be best answered by him, but sources say that he could be either dancing to China's tune or indulging in posturing to suit his own political cause.
India says that despite the offer, Oli went ahead with the amendment bill. It is now entirely up to him whether he wants to reciprocate or not, the officer cited above also said.
On the contrary, India would not issue any harsh statements. It is more pertinent that we settle the issue rather than engage in a verbal duel with Nepal, officials say.
India has reminded Nepal about the friendly relations it shared and has repeatedly stated that on the map, it has made its position clear.
India is also closely watching the timing of the developments in Nepal. It comes close on the heels of the standoff with China. We suspect that there could be a Chinese role in this aggression with India, the official cited above said.
The approach by India has been more of a calm one. India has subtly reminded Nepal of the humanitarian and development assistance it had provided, including medicines to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our multi-faceted bilateral partnership has expanded and diversified in recent years with increased focus and enhanced humanitarian and development assistance by the Government of India and connectivity projects in Nepal," Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson said.
Nepal had alleged that India had encroached upon its territory by deploying soldiers, building a temple and creating an artificial river.
Nepal's Prime Minister, K P Oli said that India had built a Kali Temple, created an artificial Kali river and deployed Indian Army personnel in order encroach upon the Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. He said that these earlier belonged to his country.