Kathmandu, Nepal: The statement of Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Friday accusing Nepal of raising Lipulekh issue at the behest of someone else has earned strong criticism from Nepalis from all over the world.
According to Republica Newspaper from Kathmandu, Nepal, without naming the specific country, Naravane claimed that Lipu Lekh Pass is not a dispute, and Nepal has raised the matter at the behest of someone else.
Lipulekh is a Nepali territory which lies in the northwestern frontier with China. Nepal has strongly opposed to India’s recent construction of a road to Tibetan Autonomous Region of China via Lipu Lekh, renowned Nepali newspaper MYREPUBLICA reported on Friday.
Social media folks in Nepal have vented ire against the controversial statement made by the Indian Army chief calling it Indian high-handedness towards a next-door neighbor at the time of the pandemic.
Naravane made the statement at a webinar organized by an Indian think tank. “There is reason to believe that they might have raised this issue at the behest of someone else and that is very much possibility,” the New Indian Express Online quoted the Indian Army chief as saying.
Elaborating on the question of the issues raised by Nepal, the Indian Army Chief said, “As far as the road to Lipulekh Pass is concerned, I do not see any contradiction in that at all. In fact, the Nepalese ambassador had mentioned that East of Kalinadi belongs to them and there is no dispute in that. The road which we have constructed is on the west side of the river. So I don’t know what exactly they are agitating about. As we go ahead there are little issues as to where the tri-junction should be. There have never been any problems on this score in the past.”
Meanwhile, a section of Indian scholars also lambasted the statement made by the Indian Army chief. Ashok Swain, a scholar of Peace and Conflict Research who is currently teaching at Uppsala University, Sweden, wrote on Twitter “India should start to realize that Nepal is a country and it can have its own opinion! And, Army Chief should stop speaking like a BJP leader.”