Nepal’s decision to pull out of the joint BIMSTEC military drill in Pune couldn’t have come at a worse time for India with the Nepali Army set to participate in a 12-day-long joint military exercise with China from September 17 in Chengdu writes Sputnik.
According to Russian News Paper Sputnik, Nepal has thwarted India's strategy to form a regional alliance excluding China and Pakistan by holding a joint exercise with China snubbing the BIMSTEC joint military drill. It is considered a major diplomatic setback for India.
“China has a long history of military ties with Nepal. In fact, during the civil war, China helped King Gyanendra with military supplies. It is not new, just that now it is more open…. Recently, China has also helped Nepal build an academy to keep surveillance on people. China has its own imperative to protect its investments and citizens in Nepal, while Nepal wants to take advantage of China to increase its capabilities,” said Geeta Kochhar, professor of Chinese Studies in JNU and visiting scholar at Fudan University, China.
“I think India should not worry too much about these ties, but concentrate more on protecting its own borders from the illegal inflow of Nepalese in Indian territory that pose challenges to the stability of India and rise in human trafficking using India also a transit route. In fact, we should follow China's model of making stringent checkpoints on the India-Nepal border,” said Professor,” said Professor Kochhar in her interview to Sputnik.
Professor Kochhar said that India cannot stop Nepal's deeper engagement with China, but can limit its influence on India-Nepal relations. As a sovereign nation, Nepal may want to engage with China, but India needs to build its own capabilities and think what it wants from Nepal and what can be offered to Nepal in a more holistic manner. A piece-meal strategy is no future of India-Nepal relations.