Indian Army Chief Gen Pande to visit Nepal in early September
Indian Army Chief Gen Pande

Kathmandu: Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande will travel to Nepal on September 4 on a five-day official visit to the Himalayan nation during which he will hold extensive talks with the country’s top civil and military leadership.

“We have already received permission from the meeting of the Council of Ministers for the forthcoming visit by the Indian Army chief to Nepal,” Nepal Army spokesperson Narayan Silwal told PTI.

He said the formal announcement of the visit has not yet taken place and the two sides are working out the detailed itinerary of the visit.

During the visit, efforts will be made to strengthen military ties and bilateral cooperation between the two countries, he added.

The main purpose of General Pande’s visit is to receive the title of honorary General of Nepal Army to be conferred by President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Silwal said.

General Pande took charge as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff on April 30 after Gen MM Naravane retired from service.

There has been a long tradition of exchange of visits by the army chiefs of Nepal and India and to confer the title of honorary General to both the army chiefs.

Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff Prabhu Ram Sharma visited India in November last year at the invitation of his Indian counterpart.

General Sharma was conferred with the honorary General of the Indian Army during the visit.

Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and the leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.

The country shares a border of over 1850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services. Nepal’s access to the sea is through India, and it imports a predominant proportion of its requirements from and through India.

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