Kathmandu, Nepal, October 27, 2020: Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane is arriving in Kathmandu on November 4 for three day official visit to Nepal to ‘strengthen bilateral relationship between the two neighboring countries.’
Naravane’s Nepal visit, which is scheduled for November 4-6, is taken importantly in the diplomatic and political levels as it is going to happen just few weeks after the India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Samant Kumar Goel’s visit to Nepal.
Though the exact purpose of the visit is yet to be elaborated officially, it is claimed that his three day long journey to Kathmandu is scheduled to have high level meetings with various leaders and officials including his Nepali counterpart General Purna Chandra Thapa.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari is going to confer Gen Naravane with the honorary rank of General of the Nepal Army amid an event in Kathmandu as there is an age-old tradition of conferring honorary rank of General for the army chiefs of both the countries.
As the Indian Army Chief Naravane’s visit is scheduled just after the visit of another security wing- RAW’s chief, there is a speculation that India would have intended to engage the security agencies to settle differences with Nepal instead taking initiations through the political as well as diplomatic levels.
As Naravane’s visit to Nepal will be the first high-level visit from India to Nepal since the ties between the two neighbors came under strain after Nepal came up with a new political map in May claiming some disputed areas of Lipupekh region of Darchula district.
The bilateral relationship between the two countries had come under strain after Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically link road that connects Darchula of India to Kailashmansarowar of China through Lipulekh pass of Nepal on 8 May.
Protesting the move, Nepal had issued a new political and administrative map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. India had also published a new map in November 2019 showing the areas as its territories. After the incident, the age-old bilateral relationship between the two neighboring countries has reached historically low point.
Nepal and India have to settle dozens of boundary disputes including the Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura through the political as well as diplomatic level but not from the obscured meetings with the security wings’ chief of India, the critics have said.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been facing heated criticism from different sectors including from his own party leaders after his meeting with RAW chief Goel that was happened on last Wednesday.
Following the visit, the critics and the leaders from his own party have alleged Prime Minister Oli of breaching diplomatic norms and decorum while visiting Goel at his official residence.
Spokesperson for the ruling NCP Narayan Kaji Shrestha had strongly opposed the meeting even terming meeting as detrimental to the country's independence, sovereignty and national interests.