Indian Army Chief Naravane to visit Nepal on Nov 4

Published On: October 27, 2020 02:37 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 27: Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane's three-day crucial visit to Nepal will begin on November 4.

The visit is expected to have a significant diplomatic overtone with India looking at resetting relations with the Himalayan nation after the ties came under severe strain following a bitter border row, the Economic Times reported quoting Indian officials and Press Trust of India (PTI). "The Chief of Army Staff is scheduled to visit Nepal from November 4 to 6 with an aim to strengthen overall ties including in areas of defence and security.”

The Nepali side, however, has yet to confirm the date.

Continuing a tradition of friendship between the two militaries, Indian Army Chief Naravane will be decorated with the honorary rank of General of Nepal Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari during the visit. Conferring the highest rank to the chiefs of each other’s militaries is a tradition that has been followed by Nepal and India since 1950 after then Indian army Chief General KM Cariappa visited Nepal.

The Indian Chief of Army Staff is scheduled to hold extensive talks with the top civilian and military brass of Nepal including his counterpart General Purna Chandra Thapa on a range of key issues 

An invitation had been extended to the Indian Army Chief by the Nepal government on February 3 earlier this year.

Sources said that the proposed visit of the Indian Army chief could not take place in subsequent months following his controversial remarks in May on the road to Lipu Lekh, a sovereign Nepali territory which India claims as its own despite Nepal’s objection. 

Without naming any specific country, Naravane on May 14 had claimed that the Lipu Lekh Pass is not a dispute and that Nepal has raised the matter at the behest of someone else, alluding to China. The statement further soured the ties between the two countries. Even former Indian diplomats criticized the remarks made by Naravane calling it undiplomatic.

His ‘demeaning’ remarks drew sharp criticisms in Nepal, prompting protests in various parts of the country, marking a new low in India-Nepal relations. However, Indian Army Chief softened his stance later in June.


Leave A Comment