Friday 14th June 2024
Friday 14th June 2024
गृहपृष्ठSpecialIndian Army Chief Naravane to arrive in Nepal on November 4 amid strained bilateral ties 

Indian Army Chief Naravane to arrive in Nepal on November 4 amid strained bilateral ties 

Indian Army Chief was recently in the spotlight for a controversial statement regarding Nepal while tensions were running high between the two countries. He is visiting Nepal on November 4. 

KATHMANDU- Indian Chief of the Army Staff  General Manoj Mukund Naravane will be visiting Nepal on November 4 for a three-day visit amid strained ties between the two countries over border issues. 

While the purpose of the Indian Army Chief’s visit is to receive the honorary rank of the ‘General of the Nepal Army’ as part of age-old mutual tradition, his visit is interpreted as a thaw in relations between the two countries who have turned bitter in recent months over border disputes.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari is scheduled to confer him the honorary rank of the ‘General of the Nepal Army’. As part of this age-old tradition, the Nepal Army Chief is also conferred with the ‘General of Indian Army’. 

This would be the highest level visit from India in recent months after border tensions ensued in November when New Delhi published its new map to show the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two new Union Territories, incorporating some of the territories of Nepal. 

The tension escalated after Indian Defence Minister on May 8 inaugurated through video conference the road between Dharchula to Lipulekh, a Nepali territory. 

Indian Army Chief Naravane added fuel to the fire on May 15 when he said that Nepal was objecting to India’s roadwork at ‘someone else’s behest’–an indirect reference alleged to Chinese interference. 

In response to Indian claims on Nepali territories, Nepal published its own new map including Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura on May 20. The parliament unanimously approved the amendment of the constitution to update the new map in the emblem of the country. Nepal’s southern neighbor has been turning down all diplomatic and political requests for dialogues since it released its new and revised map. 

The Indian Army Chief, whose remarks prompted protest in Kathmandu, will become the first highest-serving Indian official to visit Nepal after the two countries’ border disputes began to escalate in November last year. 

Although Indian Army Chief Naravane’s visit had been approved by the Government of Nepal on February 3, it had been postponed due to lockdown in both countries. While the postponement was attributed to the lockdown, sources say that the bitter relation between two countries over border issues had also contributed to the cancellation. 

According to the Press Trust of India,  the Indian Army Chief is scheduled to hold extensive talks with the top civilian and militarybrass of Nepal including his counterpart General Purna Chandra Thapa on a range of key issues such as further boosting the management of the nearly 1,800 km-long border between the two countries.  

While his other programs of the visit have not been disclosed yet, he is expected to call on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli who has recently stripped Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel of the Defense Ministry to oversee the portfolio himself. He is likely to make a trip to Muktinath during his three-day trip to Nepal. 

Earlier last week, Indian foreign intelligence agency RAW Chief Samant Goel had visited Nepal and met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli along with other senior political leaders. While the Prime Minister’s meeting with the RAW Chief sparked criticisms in the country, experts say that the visit of the Indian RAW Chief has set the stage for high-level dialogue between Nepal and India to resolve border disputes

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