India-Nepal Border Row: Army Chief says Nepal protesting at ‘someone else’s behest’

Army Chief Gen Naravane, Nes, Mobile, NewsMobile India, Jammu And Kashmir, COVID19, Pakistan
Army Chief MM Naravane (file image)

With India and Nepal engaged in a diplomatic row over the construction of an Indian road via Lipulekh pass, Army Chief General MM Naravane on Friday said that Nepal may have protested about the road at “someone else’s behest”.

While the Army Chief did not name China, it was clear that the indication was towards that country. The Army Chief was speaking at a webinar organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

Indian and Chinese soldiers have been engaged in face-offs in eastern Ladakh and Sikkim in the past few days. The Army Chief, however, stressed that there was no connection between the recent face-offs between Indian and Chinese soldiers and Nepal’s protest on this road.

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Nepal raised a protest after India, on May 8, opened a road till the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand connecting India with Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet. Built by Border Roads Organisation from Ghatibagarh in Uttarakhand to Lipulekh, just five kilometers short of the Line of Actual Control. The road—which will significantly reduce the travel time for Indian pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar—was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Army Chief said that while India had made a road west of Kali river, Nepal has accepted that its territory is to the east of the Kali river. He said there was no contradiction in Lipulekh and there had been no problems there earlier.

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