Nepal announces visit of Indian Army chief

India’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande will arrive in Kathmandu on September 4 on a four-day visit to the Himalayan nation, the Nepali Army said in a statement on Wednesday.

Accompanied by a five-member delegation, General Pande’s visit comes on an invitation by his Nepal counterpart General Parbhu Ram Sharma.

The main events in the Indian Army chief’s itinerary include paying homage at the martyr’s memorial in the Army Pavilion, receive a guard of honor at the Army Headquarters, hold a meeting with General Sharma, hand over various non-lethal military items to the Nepali Army, interaction with student officers at Army Command and Staff College, Shivapuri, and a visit to the Mid-Command Headquarters in Pokhara, the statement said.

As Nepal and India are celebrating the establishment of 75th years of diplomatic ties, General Pande will announce a huge military assistance to Kathmandu, sources said.

The main highlight of the visit will be the conferment of the rank of an Honorary General of the Nepali Army to General Pande by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on September 5.

Nepal and India have a long standing tradition of conferment of the rank of the honorary title to both armies since 1950.

General Pande is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who also holds the defence portfolio.

This is his first visit to Nepal after assuming office on April 30 after the retirement of his predecessor Manoj Mukund Naravane.

Nepal’s General Sharma was given the honorary title of Chief of the Indian Army by the former President Ram Nath Kovind in November last year.

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