Border stand-off: Nepal PM offers mediation between India-China

Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 January 2021 (14:59 IST)
New Delhi: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has offered to mediate between India and China in their border conflict.

“If we can be instrumental to support them, help them to resolve the problems, we are ready”, Mr Oli said in an interview to a news channel.
 
Speaking on the India-Nepal relations that have been scarred in the recent past after Kathmandu passed a Constitutional amendment revising its map which has now included three Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, PM Oli hoped that 2021 will be the year where the two countries can “declare there are no more problems”.
 
He also said that his country will not compromise on sovereign equality in its engagement with either India or China.
 
“The area of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani is the territory of Nepal, is very sacred part of Nepal,” Oli said, adding that “We are not in position to claim the territory of China or India. But we must claim our territory with our friends.”
 
PM Oli’s interview with the Wion TV comes amidst a major political crisis in the Himalayan nation. The country’s Parliament was dissolved on December 20, last year by President Bidya Devi Bhandari following a recommendation by Mr Oli. The President also announced fresh elections to be held in two rounds on April 30 and May 10, 2021.
 
The sudden development had sparked off a major political crisis in Nepal and many opposition leaders decided to challenge the Prime Minister’s decision in the court. It gave rise to a heated political debate in the country and snowballed since Nepal’s constitution did not had a provision for the dissolution of the House. Consequently, all opposition parties strongly criticized the move describing it as “authoritarian.”.
 
Oli’s leadership is being challenged by party chair and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. Blaming Prachanda for the split, Mr Oli said, “Prachanda wanted and tried to capture the power and impose Authoritarian system in Nepal through the so-called People’s war. He tried to oust the Chief of Army staff and capture the army.”
 
Defending his decision to dissolve the House of Representative, Oli said his actions were aimed at preventing Nepal from being pushed towards instability, horse-trading. “They want to abolish the multi-party system, democratic system, and want to create Authoritarian system,” Oli said pointing out at Prachanda, and Nepal’s former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
 
Notably, according to political experts, the year 2020 saw a certain drop in India-Nepal relations while China found new ways to befriend the Himalayan nation and engage with it more deeply.
 
Nepal is a part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. Beijing has spent millions on Nepalese Infrastructure and hydropower projects. In 2019, China pledged $500 million in financial aid to Nepal.
 
Oli said there is no question of a debt trap. “We are concentrating our efforts on economic development, and our efforts, our resources are not enough so we want to take support and we want to cooperate with our friends as well. We want to bring money and technology, we want to get support, we want to get investment, sometime loans too- for some projects, but carefully,” Oli said. (UNI)