Nepal army chief visiting India this month

By Indo Asian News Service | Friday, September 20, 2013 | 7:52:12 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

Kathmandu, Sep 20 (IANS) The Nepal government Friday approved a seven-day visit by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Gaurav Sumsher Rana to India, ahead of the Nov 19 constituent assembly elections in this Himalayan nation.

Kathmandu, Sep 20 (IANS) The Nepal government Friday approved a seven-day visit by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Gaurav Sumsher Rana to India, ahead of the Nov 19 constituent assembly elections in this Himalayan nation.

On an invitation from his Indian counterpart, Gen. Bikram Singh, Rana will be heading for New Delhi Sep 29 with six of his close aides.

Nepal is getting ready for the November elections and preparations are under way to deploy the army during polling.

Rana's visit would help Indian policy makers extract first hand information about the situation ahead of the November polls although Nepal's polity is still divided and speculative about the polls.

Only this week, India's Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae had a meeting with Rana's office and discussed in length about the prospect of deployment of army during the polls and his upcoming India visit.

"It is a goodwill visit, and will give an opportunity for strengthening the military-to-military ties between the two nations," Nepal Army spokesperson Jagadish Pokhrel told IANS.

According to the Nepal Army headquarters, Rana will meet India's Defence Minister A.K. Antony, his counterpart Gen. Singh, and other senior officials.

The issue of resumption of Indian military aid to Nepal that was halted in 2005 after deposed king Gynendra Shah took executive power will come up for discussion during these meetings.

Both sides had recently agreed to resume the halted aid recently.

The Nepal government has officially decided to deploy 61,000 army personnel to maintain security during polling as the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, a breakaway faction of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, has declared that it would boycott and disturb the election process.

This is the Nepal army chief's third visit to India after he assumed office Sep 20 last year.

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