Kathmandu. Most of the Nepali people have smelt a rat in the upcoming Nepal visit of Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane scheduled in November 2020.
This visit of MM Naravane is the first high-level visit between the two countries since a border row hit ties earlier this year.
Some groups of the Indian ruling class believe that the Naravane’s visit will provide an opportunity for the two sides to push defence and security cooperation after bilateral relations were affected by a border row that erupted in May.
But they forgot that at that time Nepal objected to the opening of a new road to Lipulekh region on the border with Tibet by India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh. The unilateral Indian action along the border enforced Nepal then issuing a new map that showed Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, all controlled by India, as part of Nepalese territory. Nepal has been putting its stand against Indian dominance in such western area of Nepal but India has been ignoring it.
About this step of Nepal Naravane said Nepal’s protest against the border road was at the behest of “someone else” – a veiled reference to China. Naravane’s comments fuels Nepali people’s anti Indian sentiments. Then the erupted protest against Naravane’s speech caused the defence minister Ishwar Pokhrel to say that they “hurt the sentiments of the Nepali Gurkha army personnel who lay down their lives to protect India”.
India has not finalized any date to hold a decisive meeting for the border disputes including Kalapani area.
In this scenario, Naravane’s visit has been surfaced on the platform of the bilateral relation between Nepal and India. As made public this is to fullfil the so called traditional visit. The visit was approved by the government of Nepal on February 3, 2020 but was postponed due to [the Covid-19] lockdown in both the countries.
In keeping with a long-standing convention between the armies of the two countries, Nepal’s President Vidya Devi Bhandari will “confer the honorary rank of general of the Nepali Army to General Naravane in an investiture ceremony during this visit”, the statement said.
India and Nepal have traditionally had strong defence and security ties, with regular exchanges and training programmes. Nearly 30,000 Gurkhas serve in seven regiments of the Indian Army.
But India has not honored sovereignty of Nepal as Nepali people expect from Indian side on the basis of true friendship. Time and again India has been showing its behavior to Nepal as a boss to his henchmen.
To ease the tension between Nepal and India, a high level political or diplomatic visit was expected in Nepal. Some former Indian Ambassadors to Nepal had spoken that a high level political visit could find the way of solution. At this juncture of relationship the welcome ceremony of disputed general would not reduce anger of Nepali people against him and India. Some Nepali say that such meaningless tradition should be broken that doesn’t suit to Federal Republic Nepal.
But, here Naravane visit is seen planned. The charge of defence ministry was taken from Ishwor Pokharel ,deputy prime minister, and given him to hold the responsibility of the affairs of Prime Minister house .
Why Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has managed the Naravane’s welcome ceremony during the tension between the bilateral relations at highest point in the history is to be sought. If someone thinks it will help to ease and solve the border tension that is meaningless.
Anger of Nepali people against Naravane can be seen in social media. Viewing all the scenarios it can be said that Naravane visit smells a rat.