Nepal Army chief General Purna Chandra Thapa will travel to India on Friday on a six-day visit during which he will hold talks with top officials, including his Indian counterpart, and receive the title of honorary general of the Indian Army. General Thapa, who took charge of the Nepal Army on August 9, is visiting India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart General Bipin Rawat - his first international tour since assuming office.
Similar to the practice followed by Nepali prime ministers, there is a tradition in the Nepal Army that sees its chiefs make New Delhi their first international destination after taking command of the defence force.
General Thapa will be handed over the insignia of the honorary chief of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function to be held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, according to a Nepal Army press release.
It is a customary practice between the two neighbouring nations to award the honorary title to each other's army chief. The practice of exchanging the title of honorary chief has been going on since 1950. In July last, General Rawat was in Nepal to receive the similar honour from Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari.
During his six-day stay in India, General Thapa will hold talks with his Indian counterpart and also meet Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other top officials.
General Thapa will lead a seven-member delegation of the Nepal Army. He will also visit South-Western Command, Jaipur and Central Command, Lucknow. Such types of high-level visits will help strengthen age old ties between the two armies, the press release added.