Kathmandu: Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli used the old Nepal map while wishing his countrymen, on the occasion of Dussera. This map shows Kalapani and Lipulekh as Indian territories. Nepalese opposition parties expressed surprise over the development. It is being said that this is the effect of the visit, of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief, Samant Goyal, to Nepal. It is claimed that the Nepalese Prime Minister has delivered a message to China, with this gesture.
In May, Nepal had published a new political map showing Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura as Nepalese territories. The Nepal parliament approved the new map. Therefore, as per the opposition parties in Nepal, the Prime Minister should have used the new map, while exchanging greetings with the countrymen, on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. But the Nepalese Prime Minister has stressed on rebuilding the relations with India to the original level, by using the old map.
Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, is scheduled to visit Nepal in the next month. Before his visit, the RAW Chief visited Nepal. The RAW Chief met Nepalese Prime Minister Oli and also met former Prime Minister Prachanda. The details of these meetings have not been published. But this meeting has resulted in this change in the Nepalese tone.
KP Sharma Oli is facing a lot of criticism for using the old map. After the dispute escalated, Surya Thapa, advisor to the Prime Minister, said that the Prime Minister used the new map, but as the map was on a smaller scale, parts like Kalapani and Lipulakh were not visible. Thapa clarified that these parts are visible if the map is enlarged. But claims are being made that Prime Minister Oli is delivering a message to China and India.
Since the last few days, Nepal is seen to making efforts to normalise relations with India. Nepal has banned the textbooks carrying the controversial map. The Nepal government also took the initiative for bilateral talks with India. It is being said that there is the background of the Chinese encroachment for this change. The Oli government is facing severe criticism over the Chinese encroachment into the Nepalese territory. It is being said that therefore, the Nepalese Prime Minister has delivered a message to China, using the old map.
Meanwhile, after the Chinese encroachment in the Nepalese territory, the Indian intelligence agencies also are on high alert. China is trying to acquire land in Nepal, in line with its expansionist policies and is trying to keep a watch on India, through Nepal. China has acquired large land parcels in 7 districts of Nepal. The international border in the Dokhal district has been pushed back, by nearly 1,500 metres.