Nepal has said that it will increase the military presence along the Indian border after New Delhi's decision to construct a road to Kailash Mansarovar through Lipulekh pass. Nepali Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali asserted that Lipulekh pass is a dispute between Kathmandu and New Delhi, which needs to be resolved.
"We will increase armed presence at the border after India decided on road construction to China through #lipulekh pass which is a dispute that needs to be resolved between India and Nepal," the Nepali foreign minister said.
Nepal's threatening move has come after New Delhi rejected Kathmandu's objections to a link road to Kailash Mansarovar through Lipulekh pass. Nepal had Saturday raised its objections saying that India's decision to inaugurate the link road connecting Lipulekh pass along the border with China was against the understanding reached between the two countries over boundary issues.
"This unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries including at the level of the Prime Ministers that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation," Nepali Foreign Ministry had said.
New Delhi says link road within Indian territory
Reacting to Nepal's objections, India had said that the road opened for use by pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra was within the Indian territory. MEA said that New Delhi was committed to resolving boundary issues with Nepal through diplomatic dialogue.
"The recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the state of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India. The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders," the MEA said in a statement.
"India and Nepal have established a mechanism to deal with all boundary matters. The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing. India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal," the ministry added.
Defence Minister Rajanth Singh had Friday inaugurated the 80-km-long road which originates at Ghatiabagarh and ends at Lipulekh pass, the gateway to Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet. Lipulekh pass is located near Kalapani, a disputed territory claimed by both India and Nepal.