Map move: Why is Nepal provoking India?

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
Delhi Published: Jun 18, 2020, 09:44 PM(IST)

File photo of Nepal PM Oli Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

While India is facing China in Ladakh, a much smaller neighbour and a supposedly old friend, has claimed 335 kilometers of Indian territory.

Nepal's Upper House on Thursday passed a controversial bill that claims Indian territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its own.

The Constitution Amendment Bill will now go to the President, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, for her signature and then the new map will become part of the national emblem of Nepal.
 
While India is facing China in Ladakh, a much smaller neighbour and a supposedly old friend, has claimed 335 kilometers of Indian territory.

Also read: After India, Nepal risks severing ties with US for China

India considers Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district and now, Nepal has officially laid claim to these territories.

It all began with Nepal objecting to a road built by India in this region. This was a new link road to Kailash Mansarovar that goes through the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand. The link road was inaugurated by defence minister Rajnath Singh last month, and just like China, Nepal grew suspicious about India's intentions.

India has managed and developed these areas for decades and never used them for military activities or to provoke Nepal, but despite this Kathmandu claims that India violated its territorial sovereignty.

Also Read: Nepal's Upper House passes bill to update map that includes Indian territories

The government of Nepal is highly unstable due to constant infighting and there's a risk that the Nepal Communist Party may split. Factions within the party want the prime minister KP Sharma Oli to take a tough stand against India. To add to that, the prime minister is under fire for not doing enough to contain the Wuhan virus.

The Communist Party of China knows the pressure comrade Oli faces, so it has decided to micro-manage Nepal's affairs. Last month, the Chinese ambassador met several political stakeholders to settle the internal dispute and at the same time, the Chinese embassy fueled anti-India rhetoric.

This map move is only a preview of what's to come. A new report claims that foreign news channels may lose transmission rights in Nepal if they don't beam ad-free content. In other words, foreign TV channels will have to air content without any commercials.

Thousands of Nepalese viewers prefer Indian channels for entertainment, and now they may not receive permission to air permanently if Nepal goes ahead with this plan. By all means, no network will agree to such a policy because it is not economically viable.

 


 

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