A day after India rejected Nepal Parliament’s move to redraw its territorial map, including areas disputed with India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that New Delhi would resolve the differences through dialogue.
Addressing a virtual political rally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Singh said India’s relations with Nepal were not only historical, but spiritual and even if someone deliberately tried to break them, they wouldn't succeed.
“Our relation with Nepal is that of roti and beti (ties of food and family). If there is any misunderstanding, we will resolve it through dialogues. We cannot have any ill-feeling about Nepalis,” said Rajnath Singh.
Diplomatic tensions between India and Nepal escalated after Rajnath Singh opened a newly constructed 80 km road to Kailash Mansarovar – a lake on Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, believed to be the abode of one of the Hindu trinities – Lord Shiva. Besides Hindus, it is considered sacred for Buddhist and Jainists. The road goes through territory which Kathmandu claims as its own.
An earlier claim by New Delhi over the three enclaves of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura caused concern in Kathmandu, but the matter has worsened since the road opening.
“This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues," India’s External Affairs Ministry had reacted to the move.
Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli had accused India of breaching Nepal's territorial integrity. On May 21, Nepal issued the new map incorporating the disputed enclaves. India quickly reacted to the move and urged Nepal to respect its sovereignty.