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'China spreading influence along Nepal border'

December 17, 2009 20:12 IST

China is extending its influence in the neighbouring Nepal through the numerous "cultural centres" it is opening in that country along the Indo-Nepal border, a senior government official said on Thursday.

"As they (China) are a mighty economic power, China is establishing its cultural centres which are increasing day by day... they teach Chinese language to those Nepalese who are interested and they also do this cultural propaganda like you want to listen to Chinese music..." said Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal M V Krishna Rao.

"If they (Nepalese) want to learn Chinese language there are teachers to do it without charges," he said.

These steps are aimed at propagating a "pro-China" message among the Nepalese population, said Rao, whose force guards the 1,751 km Indo-Nepal border.

A number of such centres are in those Nepal districts, which are along the Indian border, he said.

"The proximity of China and Nepal has to be watched and we are watching," he said.

Rao underlined the difficulty of guarding an unfenced and "open" border like with Nepal in which there are no visa requirements for people from both sides to cross over.

Referring to sneaking of Pakistan-based operatives and militants into the country via the Nepal border, Rao said, "The only one country makes good use of Indo-Nepal border... that is Pakistan.

"There have been instances where they (Pakistan-based operatives) have used this route to go to Kashmir... as their active field is Kashmir," Rao said.

These (Pakistan-based terrorists) people are resourceful enough to get fake documents made from Nepal and cross the border in buses and other modes," he said.

Rao also said members of Indian insurgent groups may be planning to resettle themselves in China or Myanmar.

He said it is imperative on the part of Nepal to have good relations with all its neighbouring countries, including China and "it (Nepal) wants to exploit its presence with both India and China".

Talking about the killing of Abdul Majid Siddiqui, who was said to have been running a fake Indian currency and arms smuggling network in Nepal and was allegedly an operative of Pakistan's Inter State Intelligence, Rao said he may have been murdered by the men of international terrorist Dawood Ibrahim in Nepal because of fears that he might spill the beans about his illegal operations to Indian investigative agencies once he is caught.

"But I cannot confirm the development," he said.
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