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Opinion

India had offered dialogue to Nepal in a row on the map. Why Prime Minister Oli ignored it

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On Saturday, Nepal’s lower house of parliament passed the constitutional amendment bill that updates the so-called “Nepal political map.” The “updated map” includes territories that are parts of the Indian states of Uttarakhand and Bihar. The bill will now go through the Nepalese upper house before receiving presidential consent. According to experts, this is a mere formality.

In Nepal, a question that continues to be raised among intellectuals, publics and politicians is why India has remained silent on diplomatic dialogue.

But first, let’s focus on the ongoing political context in Nepal

A screenshot of the public debate in Nepal would reveal a widespread belief that the constitutional amendment was being used by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to maintain his position within the Communist Party of Nepal, which was very unstable in early May when he pressed it. why vacating the prime minister’s post had become unbearable.

Also read: Nepal parliament clears new map, closes possibility of border line talks

There were more sensible voices in Kathmandu advising him not to introduce the constitutional amendment. Rather, they told Prime Minister Oli that the draft constitution amendment bill would shut down channels of diplomatic communication with India.

In the diplomatic dialogue to debate the pending boundary issue, Nepal appears to have taken a dual approach. A public call for dialogue combined with an active private effort to sink it.

In public statements, even in response to questions from lawmakers in Parliament about the state of dialogue with India, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali expressed surprise that India sat down to talk to China but ignored the offer. from Nepal.

Why, in fact, has India not offered to sit down and talk? Have you really rejected Nepal’s request, as Pradeep Kumar Gyawali seems to claim?

Also read: In 4 sentences, the army chief hints at India’s approach to Nepal after the map row

However, a senior source at the Foreign Ministry in Kathmandu told the Hindustan Times that this was not accurate.

The source said India had made a clear offer for a phone call at the foreign secretary level; Next, a video conference between the two foreign affairs secretaries and then a visit by the Nepalese foreign secretary to India to discuss the issue of limits.

“This artificial expansion of claims is not based on historical facts or evidence and is not sustainable. It is also a violation of our current understanding of holding conversations on pending border issues ”: MEA

Sources from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New Delhi confirmed that this offer was available with Foreign Minister Gyawali and Prime Minister Oli even before the draft constitution amendment bill was introduced.

This offer was completed a week before Foreign Minister Gyawali declared that India has been rejecting requests for talks by Nepal on the border issue.

Only Foreign Minister Gyawali can respond if an offer of a phone call, a video conference and an exchange of visits is a snub as he described it.

Nepalese foreign ministry sources confirmed that Prime Minister Oli appeared disinterested in India’s offer. For reasons better known to him, he was not ready to stop or step back on the constitutional amendment despite knowing that the constitutional amendment is seen by India as an irrevocable step that predetermines the outcome of any future negotiations.

In fact, according to some interlocutors, in his private meetings, Prime Minister Oli had reported that he would continue the amendment regardless of the impact it might have on people-to-people relations between India and Nepal.

What we seem to have here is a carefully crafted pattern of deception and deception where the Indian offer is not shared with parliamentarians; and the public and lawmakers are duped, all so that Prime Minister Oli can harm the special relationship that the people of the two countries continue to foster.

Since Prime Minister Oli has ignored that offer of diplomatic dialogue and has proceeded to amend the constitution, it is now up to him to create, if he wishes, an enabling environment in case he is interested in a bilateral dialogue on the issue of limits.

A leader of Prime Minister Oli’s experience and wisdom would know well that the time for verbal fraud is over; now you need to walk the talk.

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