Kathmandu: – Nepal has conferred the Honorary General rank on Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane. Following this, discussions for increasing military cooperation between the two countries were also held between the two army chiefs. The relations between the two countries had strained after Nepal published a political map, showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli government also had started a spate of the anti-India decision following that. But change in the approach of the KP Sharma Oli government towards India is being indicated. Against this background, Nepal has conferred the honorary General rank on the Indian Army Chief.
Indian Army Chief is on a three days Nepal visit. Nepalese President Vidyadevi Bhandari conferred the honour on General MM Naravane. Last month, Nepal had announced that General Naravane would be granted the honour. This is not the first time that Nepal has conferred such an honour on an Indian Army Chief. There is a long-standing tradition of conferring such honours on the military officials from the other country. But the honour being conferred in the current scenario holds special significance.
Nepal had shown Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories in its new map. Nepal also had accused India of encroachment on its territory. Nepal had increased its posts on the border, increasing the deployment in another act of aggression. Nepal also took many anti-India decisions. These included changes to the citizenship laws to stop the intermarriages between Indian and Nepalese populations. As per analysts, the Pro-Chinese communist government functions on the instructions received from China.
But two months ago, it was exposed that China has grabbed Nepalese land, in seven districts and the government started facing criticism for it. China has made construction on the grabbed territories. Nepalese people have been prohibited entry in these areas. The discontent in the Nepalese people, against China, went on increasing. Criticism was also being made over the Chinese interference in Nepal politics.
Thereafter, Prime Minister Oli’s government started the process of reconciliation with India. Books carrying the new map were banned. An appeal was made to India for bilateral talks. A few days ago, the Nepalese Prime Minister used the old map while greeting India on the occasion of Dussehra. Against this very background, the Indian Army Chief has been conferred the Honour. Therefore, this visit of the Indian Army Chief to Nepal is considered to be very important. Hope is being expressed that the strained relations between the two countries will streamline because of this. Army Chief Naravane will also be visiting Prime Minister Oli and holding talks.