Army Chief Hints at China’s Hand Behind Nepalese Protest Against Link Road to Lipulekh Pass | India News
However, the army chief stressed that he saw “no concerted design” in the recent troop clashes with China in eastern Ladakh and northern Sikkim, which are resolved according to established case-by-case mechanisms.
“I don’t see any contradiction when it comes to the path to the Lipulekh Pass. In fact, the Nepalese ambassador had mentioned that the east side of Kali Nadi (Mahakali River) belongs to them. There is no dispute on that, ”General Naravane said at a webinar organized by the IDSA defense expert group.
“The path that we have built is on the west side of the river. So I don’t know what exactly they (Nepal) are waving. There has never been a problem with this score in the past. There is reason to believe that they could have raised the issue at someone else’s request (read China). That is a great possibility, “he added.
Sources say China was nervous about the way Indian troops held their ground during the two violent clashes, which left several soldiers wounded on both sides, along the Current Line of Control (LAC) in early this month.
“The fact that a young Indian army lieutenant beat a commander of the People’s Liberation Army during the clash in the Naku La sector (in Sikkim on May 9) has particularly irritated Beijing. He protested strongly about the incident , both because of the direct line between local commanders and the Indian defense attaché in Beijing, “said a source.
With Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on May 8 formally opening the strategically vital link road from Dharchula to almost the Lipulekh Pass, which is located near the triple India-Nepal-China intersection, Beijing could have seized the opportunity to drive even more wedge between New Delhi and Kathmandu.
“It is no secret that China, with its infrastructure projects and other strategic forays into Nepal, is actively working against India’s interests in the Himalayan country.” While Kalapani has been a long-standing territorial dispute between India and Nepal, Kathmandu has also been dedicated to raising Lipulekh, “said a source.
Nepal stated that the link route to Lipulekh passed through its territory while criticizing India for the “unilateral act” last week. India replied that the road was “completely within its territory” and followed the “pre-existing route” used by the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra pilgrims.
General Naravane, meanwhile, played down the ongoing troop confrontations with China, saying it was “business as usual” throughout the 3,488 km LAC. “In fact, you get to know when fighting occurs in one or two places. But our troops meet in 10 different places daily, “he said.
Clashes occur from time to time due to different perceptions of LAC. “They also happen when there is a change of commanders on the ground. A new commander wants to demonstrate that he is different from the others. There are many dynamics about why a confrontation occurs, “he added.