In a mission to strengthen defence, security and overall ties with Nepal, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army, will arrive in Nepal on November 4 on a three-day visit. At the invitation of General Purna Chandra Thapa, Chief of the Army Staff, Nepali Army, the Indian army chief will pay a customary visit to Nepal.
At a time when Nepal-India ties appear to have reached an all-time low due to the boundary dispute starting from November last year, Gen Naravane added a twist in May after India opened a new track linking the Mansarovar to the state of Uttarakhand.
Nepal protested the opening of the new track by India because the newly constructed road surpasses a trijuncture between Nepal, India and China. The Indian road passes across Lipulekh, that Nepal claims its own territory which Nepal had protested earlier in 2015 during an agreement between New Delhi and Beijing.
After Nepal’s protest over the new road constructed by India followed by dispute in Kalapani area which is an unsettled boundary row since decades, General Naravane had said that it was in fact China that was creating a flashpoint between Delhi and Kathmandu. “I don’t know what they are actually agitating about. There is a reason to believe that they might have raised this problem at the behest of someone else and that is very much a possibility,” Naravane had said at an online conference in May.
His statement had created huge uproar in Kathmandu. Many officials believe that Naravane’s statement was one of the major reasons behind