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Last Updated : Oct 15, 2020 03:35 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

With Ishwar Pokhrel shunted out of defence ministry, Nepal PM gets ready to soothe strained India ties

The development comes against the backdrop of Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane's visit to Nepal.

With the shunting out of Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel from the country's defence ministry, Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli has signalled that it is ready to normalise the strain in ties with India, officials told the Hindustan Times.

According to the report, as the defence minister, Pokhrel had been one of India's sharpest critics in the Oli cabinet. Now, with this move, Pokhrel, according to the report, would effectively be a minister without portfolio since he has been attached to the Prime Minister's Office now.

The development comes against the backdrop of Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane's visit to Nepal. General Naravane's visit, expected to take place in the first week of November, will be the maiden high-level visit from India since ties between the two neighbours came under strain after the Himalayan nation came up with a new political map in May claiming several areas in Uttarakhand to be part of its territory.

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According to the HT report, Oli had started laying the groundwork for a reset of ties between the two neighbors in August, when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of India's Independence Day. Then in September, he had stopped the distribution of a new textbook which included the country's revised political map.

The ties between the two countries came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.

Nepal protested the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through its territory. Days later, Nepal came out with the new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.
First Published on Oct 15, 2020 03:35 pm
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