Dharamsala, Oct 3: Nepal will for the first time in its history form a Border Security Force to patrol its northernmost tip of the border it shares with Tibet in a bid to prevent anti-China activities by Tibetan dissidents, IANS reported Nepal’s Home Minister Bhim Rawal as saying.
According to the report, the home minister, accompanied by the heads of different security wings, on Thursday paid a surprise visit to Mustang, Nepal’s northernmost district that was once part of an ancient Tibetan kingdom which escaped the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 and still retains its old culture.
Rawal’s field visit was meant to gather first-hand information about the security situation in Mustang after the Chinese government urged Nepal to curb ‘Free Tibet’ activities by Tibetan refugees in Nepal, the report said.
Prior to Rawal’s visit, China’s Ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong also made a surprise visit to Mustang last month.
Besides the Chinese concern that Tibetans could slip into Nepal via Mustang and vice-versa, Beijing is also reportedly watching the dharamshala (wayside inn) built at the Muktinath shrine by the Indian government.
The Nepal government has agreed to deploy its new Border Security Force, to be carved out of the Armed Police Force, along the Mustang-Tibet border, IANS reported.
The Tatopani border checkpost between China-controlled Tibet and Nepal has been closed as China began celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of its people’s republic from Thursday.
The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu has also stopped issuing visas till Oct 8 in a bid to preempt Tibetan demonstrations.
Despite the tight security, Beijing has been stung by repeated demonstrations against it in Kathmandu.
Even on Thursday, ignoring the beefed up security at the Chinese embassy and visa-issuing centre, dozens of Tibetans courted arrest displaying banners that said ‘Free Tibet’ and unfurled the flag of independent Tibet.