Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Samant Kumar Goel paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and said India will not allow interruption in the friendly bilateral relations with Nepal and resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue, according to a top Nepalese official on Thursday.
His visit comes ahead of the upcoming official trip of Indian Army chief Gen. M M Naravane to Nepal in the first week of November.
Goel called on Prime Minister Oli at his official residence at Baluwatar on Wednesday evening, the premier’s press advisor Surya Thapa told PTI.
During the meeting, Goel “expressed his views regarding not to allow interruption in friendly relations between Nepal and India, resolving all the outstanding issues through dialogue and continuing mutual cooperation,” Thapa said.
The ties between the two countries came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.
Nepal protested the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through its territory. Days later, Nepal came out with the new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.
In the midst of the row, Gen Naravane said that there were reasons to believe that Nepal objected to the road at the behest of “someone else”, in an apparent reference to a possible role by China in the matter. The comments triggered angry reactions from Nepal.
India too had published a new map in November 2019 showing the areas as its territories.
After Nepal released the map, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.
In June, Nepal’s Parliament approved the new political map of the country featuring areas which India maintains belong to it.
In its reaction, after Nepal’s lower house of parliament approved the bill, India termed as untenable the “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims by the neighbouring country.
India said Nepal’s action violates an understanding reached between the two countries to resolve the boundary issues through talks.
Prime Minister Oli has been asserting that Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura belong to his country and vowed to “reclaim” them from India.
The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.