Kathmandu: Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sud said that it would be appropriate to discuss these issues at the highest political level as border and other bilateral issues are very sensitive issues.
Speaking at a seminar on Nepal-India military cooperation organized by the Asian Institute for Diplomacy and International Relations (AIDIA) in collaboration with the Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defense Analysis, he expressed his views on border dispute between Nepal and India.
He further said, “Both countries have very strong democracies. Nepal also has a new constitution and political stability after the election.” There is a political nature between the two countries, which determines the military-to-military relationship. Other contentious issues, including the border, should be discussed at the political level.
He also spoke about the growing military cooperation between Nepal and China, especially in recent years. He said, “Fundamental changes have taken place in the relations between India and China in recent times and it is important for Nepal to take the lead in that changed relationship.
Especially in 2017, the Nepal Army and the Chinese Army held a joint exercise for the first time. Similarly, the Chinese Army has provided financial and other assistance to the Nepal Army. If the conflict between India and China continues to escalate, Nepal-China military consolidation may not be as easy in India.
Speaking on the occasion, former Nepal Army Chief Vinoj Basnyat said that the upcoming visit of Indian Army Chief MM Narwane to Nepal could play an important role in creating an atmosphere of dialogue at the political and diplomatic levels. He said that he could learn from India on the modernization of the Nepal Army. He said military diplomacy was the backbone of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Security expert Geja Sharma Wagle said the Indian army chief’s visit could play a role in holding talks on some important issues between the two countries. He said that the special relationship between the two armies would strengthen the overall Nepal-India relations. “Such a visit will help create an atmosphere of trust at the political and diplomatic levels,” Wagle said.
Nepal-India expert Dr. Nihar Nayak said that the military relations between the two countries are very old. He said the visit of the Indian Army Chief would play an important role in creating an atmosphere of trust between the two countries. Nayak said, “The army chiefs of both the countries had convinced the then political establishment to lift the blockade of 2015. This is the first high-level visit since the border dispute, which will help build trust.
He also said that a meeting of the joint commission chaired by the foreign ministers of the two countries would be held after the visit of the army chief. “The visit of the army chief may not be about the border, but it will help ease tensions between the two countries, as he is meeting Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali,” Nihar said.
Saying that military diplomacy is the backbone of bilateral relations, Nayak said that the visit of the Indian Army Chief would play a role in improving relations.
AIDIA chief Sunil KC said that the two countries’ armies have very cordial relations and that would help in resolving the misunderstanding between the two countries.
KC said, “The armies of both the countries played an important role in ending the blockade of 2015. This time too, their role can be important.”
Former Ambassador Shambhuram Sinkhada said that it was necessary to further strengthen the relations between the two countries. He said, “The visit of the Indian Army Chief is very important. It helps to open the door for dialogue at the diplomatic and political levels. ‘
Retired Indian Army Chief Sokin Chauhan said that there was a very close relationship between the two countries’ armies and that the Indian Army was giving whatever it wanted to the Nepal Army.