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Tensions between India and Nepal likely to mount as New Delhi not likely to engage with the Himalayan country ready to change its map

Nepal has reportedly sought foreign secretary-level talks with India via video conferencing to discuss the ongoing tensions between the two countries. However, India may not participate in the talks.

The tensions between India and the neighbouring Himalayan country Nepal is likely to mount as India may not agree to talks at this stage as the Nepalese government is readying to pass the second Constitution Amendment Bill next week.

According to the reports, Nepal has reportedly sought foreign secretary-level talks with India via video conferencing to discuss the ongoing tensions between the two countries. However, India may not participate in the talks as Nepal is adamant on continuing with passing the amendment to give legal backing to the new maps, which had claimed parts of the Indian territory.

The security experts in the country believe that India has always offered talks but this depends on reasonableness. They believe that if Nepal continues to unilaterally prejudge the situation, then it will willfully complicating the prospects of any settlements through talks in the future.

Nepal continues to provoke India

The tensions between the two countries are on a rise after New Delhi inaugurated a road linking Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh on May 8. The Himalayan country had raised objections to India over the construction of the new road.

On May 20, the Nepalese government headed by KP Oli had released a new map of the country, in which it had included Indian territories of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as parts of Nepal. KP Oli, who is heading the Nepal Communist Party-led government in the country, had made irredentist claims against India by asserting that Nepal would “bring back at any cost” the Indian territories of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area.

Perhaps acting at the behest of China, the Nepal government had brought a constitution amendment bill at the Parliament on May 22, seeking to amend Schedule 3 of the constitution to update Nepal’s political map in the national emblem.

However, as the constitutional amendment required a two-thirds majority, the Nepal government had fallen short of numbers in the lower House compelling it to seek support from other parties. The main opposition Nepali Congress party had sought time for discussion on the issue and on May 27 the KP Sharma Oli government deferred its plan to move the constitutional amendment.

In the latest development, it is being reported that Nepal has fast-tracked the process of bringing the constitution amendment as KP Sharma Oli’s government has secured the support of opposition Nepali Congress and is likely to pass the amendment with the required two-third majority on June 9.

The opposition from Madhesi parties will be inconsequential as the government has secured two-third majority.

India cautions, urges Nepal to refrain from assertion

Meanwhile, India has urged Kathmandu to refrain from such an “unjustified cartographic assertion” and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. India had earlier categorically stated that it attaches great importance to deep-rooted historical, cultural and friendly relations with Nepal.

The Indian government had also reiterated that it is open to engaging with all its neighbours on the basis of mutual sensitivity and mutual respect in an environment of trust and confidence. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also expressed hope that Nepali leadership creates a positive environment for talks on a matter related to the border.

However, with Nepal’s belligerence to alter the existing border between two countries by including Indian territories and attempting to pass the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill without any discussions with India, may now lead India to take stringent measures against the Himalayan country, which is acting on the behest of China.

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