New Delhi: Army Chief General MM Naravane will visit in the initial days of the next month, which will be India’s first high-level visit to the neighbouring country ever since the ties got strained after Nepal’s new political map in May created controversy. In the month of May this year, Nepal came up with a new political map claiming several areas of Uttarakhand to be a part of its territory, leading to deterioration of ties between the two countries.
General Naravane will be conferred the honorary rank of ‘General of the Nepal Army’ by Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari during his visit.
Here’s why is General Naravane getting honorary rank of General of Nepali Army:
The conferring of the honorary rank of ‘General of the Nepal Army’ is done by Nepalese President in continuation of an age-old tradition. It first started in the year 1950, reflecting the strong ties between the two militaries.
India also reciprocates the act and confers the honorary rank of ‘General of Indian Army’ to the Nepal Army Chief.
Since 1950, when former Indian army chief General K. M. Cariappa visited Nepal, the practice of awarding the highest reciprocal honorary ranks to the newly appointed serving chiefs of each other’s armies started being followed by India and Nepal.
In 2009, the newly appointed Nepal Army Chief General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung was decorated with the honorary rank of General of the Indian army in New Delhi by the President of India who is also the Supreme Commander of Indian Army.
In 2010, the newly appointed Indian Army Chief General V. K. Singh was awarded the honorary rank of General of Nepal Army at Shital Niwas by the President of Nepal who is also the Supreme Commander of Nepal Army
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the honorary rank of General of the Indian Army to General Purna Chandra Thapa, the Army Chief of Nepal, in January 2019.
The row over Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura
The ties between the two countries came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8. Nepal protested the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through its territory. Days later, Nepal came out with the new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.
After Nepal released the map, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to