Nepal’s objection to the Lipulekh road is at the behest of someone: Army Chief

By: |
May 15, 2020 7:31 PM

Soon after the inauguration, Nepal registered its protest and had urged India to “stop carrying out activities inside its territories”.

On the joint commands, the army chief indicated that the Air Defence Command will be up very soon and this will be followed by a maritime command. On the joint commands, the army chief indicated that the Air Defence Command will be up very soon and this will be followed by a maritime command. (File image)

Without naming any particular country, the Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Friday has said that the objection raised by Nepal on the new road constructed via Lipulekh pass up to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), has been done at the “behest of someone else.’’

The road which was inaugurated by the defence minister Rajnath Singh last week has been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and is expected to cut down the travel time of the Indian pilgrims on their way to Kailash-Mansarovar. The 80km stretch just five km short of Line of Actual Control (LAC) was constructed under the directions of the China Study Group and has been funded from Indo-China Border Roads.

Soon after the inauguration, Nepal registered its protest and had urged India to “stop carrying out activities inside its territories”.

While there is no dispute that the area east of the Kali River belongs to Nepal, as stated by the envoy of Nepal, the road that has been constructed by the BRO is to the west of the river.

Responding to questions after a talk on “COVID and Indian Army: Responses and Beyond” at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), General Naravane stated that “there has never been any problem on this in the past and the objections raised from the neighbouring country could have been done at somebody else’s request.”

On the recent face-offs with the Chinese Army in Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim, the chief stressed there is no relation of these with the tri-junction of India-China-Nepal.

Talking about the technology on the battlefield, the army chief talked about how the technology will drive the battlefield. He also hinted that there could be a 10-15 per cent reduction in manpower due to technology. However, there will be a need to have a human being to take tactical decisions.

Talking about the Balakot strikes last year and surgical strikes in 2016, according to the chief attacks like these would be short of conventional war. And towards this, “a strategy will be in place soon.”

On the joint commands, the army chief indicated that the Air Defence Command will be up very soon and this will be followed by a maritime command. And this will be followed by Western Theatre and Northern Theatre by the Indian army.

Also, without compromising on its combat readiness, the Indian army is working on cutting down its expenditures by expenditure by 20 per cent from the current fiscal due to the COVID-19 crisis. This is being done based on the order of the government he said.

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