India-Nepal ties are not ordinary and no power in world can break the bond, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today, commenting amid unprecedented strain that the countries were bound together by "roti-beti".
"If there is any misunderstanding between India and Nepal, then we will sort it out through dialogue," Rajnath Singh said at a virtual rally amid strain over Nepal clearing a new map that includes parts of Indian Territory, a move linked to the neighbouring country's objection to a new border road.
"There is some misunderstanding in our neighbor Nepal on the road. The road built by BRO (Border Road Organisation) in Lipulekh is very much in Indian Territory," the Defence Minister asserted, addressing workers of the ruling BJP via video.
On Sunday, the lower house of Nepal's parliament approved a new map including Indian Territory. The map shows a sliver of land on the east of river Kali, jutting out from the northwestern tip of Nepal. The area includes the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and also Limpiyadhura and Kalapani, which are highly strategic areas that India has guarded since the 1962 war with China.
India has rejected the map and called it a "unilateral act" based neither on historical facts nor evidence.
Nepal published its revised map in May after India inaugurated an 80-km road connecting Uttarakhand with Lipulekh on the border with Tibet.
"We have social, geographical, historic, cultural and even spiritual ties with Nepal. Our relationship with Nepal is that of roti-beti (ties involving livelihood and marriage). I can tell you with confidence that there cannot be any bitterness among Indians for Nepal. It is a deep relationship. We will resolve the issues through dialogue," said Mr Singh.
The comments also come two days after an Indian was shot dead in firing by Nepali border guards on villages from Bihar who walked across the border - traditionally open but currently restricted because of the virus lockdown - to speak to the Nepali daughter-in-law of one of the men. Two more Indians were injured in the firing, which Nepal policemen say was triggered when the Indian group reacted aggressively after being stopped and threw stones.