- The mechanism was prepared in 2016 for the dialogue between the two countries, it was the 8th meeting of its type;
- A day ago, the Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli, called Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and congratulated the Independence Day.
- Shankar Das Bairagi, Secretary in Nepal’s Foreign Ministry, and India’s Ambassador to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Quatra, attended the meeting.
In the midst of border dispute and rhetoric, India and Nepal held a review meeting for the first time after 9 months today through video conferencing. The projects going on in the Himalayan region, with the help of India, were discussed. The two countries also talked about building a national highway between them, the Integrated Bhansar Outpost (Customs) and the large infrastructure projects. Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi joined the Ministry of External Affairs from Nepal. The Indian contingent was led by India’s Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Quatra.
Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma spoke to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi over the phone and congratulated him on Independence Day. The Ambassador of Nepal to India, Nilambar Acharya, also said on Monday that he would not listen to the estrangement born between the two countries on the issue of Lord Ram and Buddha.
Faith in Lord Ram and Buddha of both countries: Acharya
Acharya said in an interview to India Today that the Indo-Nepal Foreign Ministry has clarified the situation regarding the statements of Lord Ram and Buddha. We both believe in Lord Rama and Buddha. It is also believed that Lumbini is the birthplace of Buddha. The Ram and Buddha circuits are projects of mutual coordination between the two countries. Acharya said that all these things do not take us away, but bring us closer. We should avoid creating any kind of controversy on these issues.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Nepal had said that Lord Rama belongs to Nepal. At the same time, the Nepalese foreign minister had objected to the Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar calling Lord Buddha an Indian.
Eighth conversation between the two countries
In 2016, the then Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushp Kamal Dahal, aka Prachanda, came to India. The two countries devised mechanisms to resolve mutual disputes and enhance cooperation. On August 17, the 8th dialogue took place under the same mechanism. In recent times, relations between India and Nepal had soured due to border dispute and other issues. Nepal’s Prime Minister Oli also made a statement on the Bhoomi Poojan of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
How the dispute started between the two countries
India released its new political map on 2 November 2019. Nepal had objected to this and called Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh areas as its territory. On 18 May this year, Nepal released its new map covering these three areas. Passed this map through both the houses of Parliament. After this, tension between the two countries increased. In May-June, Nepal increased the number of troops along the borders with India. Nepali soldiers also fired on the people of India along the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar.
The firings, the map, and now the disruption over the birth place of Lord Rama and Buddha were all points of dispute between India and Nepal. But the most shocking of them all was Nepal’s claim that Lord Rama was born there. These claims had the power to cause havoc considering the controversy surrounding Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir, the Ram Janmbhoomi. Let’s hope that issues get resolved without any greater border disputes.