Fresh turmoil in Nepal amid efforts to rebuild ties with India

New Delhi: Looking to undo the damage caused by the recent strife in bilateral ties, India and Nepal are exploring ways to restart the engagement process. However, just when India thought the time was finally ripe for this, another wave of political uncertainty has hit Nepal with the rival faction within the ruling Communist Party led by PK Dahal Prachanda again looking to press-gang Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli into stepping down.

An agency report from Kathmandu said the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, had met Oli on Tuesday to defuse the crisis but there was no official confirmation of the agenda for the meeting.

While a final judgment on whether or not foreign secretary Harsh Shringla will visit Nepal later this month remains awaited, sources said the two countries have also discussed the likelihood of holding meetings virtually between the commerce and energy secretaries.

Nepal had also proposed dates for a gathering of the boundary working group this month but which can probably got to wait because the meeting involves field work which can not be possible to carry out thanks to the pandemic.

With Oli and his ministers having diluted the rhetoric over the Kalapani border dispute, Indian army chief MM Naravane. Fresh turmoil in Nepal amid efforts to rebuild ties with India visited Kathmandu earlier this month and called on the Nepal PM to debate ways to expand defence cooperation. all sides seemed satisfied with the results of the visit.

In the middle of efforts to rebuild ties with India though, the crisis within the ruling party resurfaced late last week with Nepal media reporting that Dahal had asked Oli to make “sacrifices” many to avoid wasting to save ots of the party. This was interpreted as another involve Oli’s resignation by the ruling party co-chair for the PM’s alleged incompetence and failure to regulate.

Dahal has apparently refused to withdraw a document during which he had listed several samples of Oli’s alleged failures.The latest development seems to possess again brought the Nepal Communist Party on the verge of a split with Oli unlikely to travel without putting up a fight.

Hou’s meeting with Oli on Tuesday has also drawn attention in Kathmandu albeit it is not clear yet what the agenda was. The Chinese embassy there has made no secret of the actual fact that China’s interests appear the hay a united Communist Party.

Post quoted its spokesperson in July, when Oli was faced with a uniform crisis, as saying that China didn’t want to determine the Nepal Communist Party in trouble and wished “that leaders would resolve their differences and stay united”.

Despite his pro-China image, and his decision to rush through the validation of Nepal’s controversial map showing Indian territories in it, Oli seems to be doing a balancing act for now.

His decision to urge obviate Ishwor Pokharel, who had been critical of the Indian army chief, as defence minister was seen by some as a positive signal to India, although it probably also had to undertake to to with inner party politics.

He later also faced questions for violating the protocol by having a gathering with visiting RAW chief Samant Goel this month within the absence of any official from the Nepal foreign ministry.

Goel’s visit was a logo though that India was finally considering having a more substantive engagement with Nepal, including a possible meeting between the foreign secretaries during which the Kalapani dispute would also come up.