HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Upholding the longstanding tradition between the Nepali and Indian armies, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Supreme Commander of the Nepali Army, on December 22 will confer the honorary title of Chief of the Nepali Army Staff on Chief of the Indian Army Staff General V K Singh.
Gen Singh is arriving in Nepal on December 20 on a four-day visit.
According to a military source, President Dr Yadav will confer the honorary title of Chief of the Army Staff of Nepal on Gen Singh amid a special ceremony on December 22.
Nepal and India have a six-decade long tradition according to which both the Nepali and Indian armies honour each other’s army chiefs with the honorary title.
During his four-day stay, Gen Singh is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Minister for Defence Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Gen Singh will also hold a meeting his Nepali counterpart Gen Chhatra Man Singh Gurung and discuss issues of bilateral military cooperation.
The online edition of The Times of India has termed Gen Singh’s Nepal visit ‘aimed at bolstering bilateral defence cooperation with the landlocked country, where China has made several strategic inroads’.
This will be the second visit of an incumbent army chief of India in a year to receive the honorary title of Nepal’s army chief.
The then Chief of Indian Army Gen Deepak Kapoor was conferred the honorary title of chief of Nepal army in January.
CoAS Gurung was also conferred with the honorary title of Chief of the Indian Army Staff by Indian President Pratibha Patil during Gen Gurung’s official visit to India last year.
A source at the Directorate of Public Relations of the Nepali Army informed that Gen Singh will also be visiting the elite Mountain Warfare Centre and will fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
Nepali Army Spokesperson Brigadier Gen Ramindra Chhetri, however, said the itinerary was yet to be finalised.