President Bidya Devi Bhandari today conferred the Honorary Rank of General of the Nepali Army to the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army General Manoj Pande amid a special function at Rastrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chief Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, Chief of the Army Staff General Prabhu Ram Sharma, former Chiefs of Army Staff of Nepali Army, Secretaries of Office of President, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador of India to Nepal Naveen Srivastava and others were present on the occasion.
General Pande was presented with a sword, insignia and a certificate of conferment order by the President during the ceremony, according to the Nepali Army.
The Nepali Army and the Indian Army traditionally honour each other's chiefs by conferring on the honorary rank of General, given the close military ties shared by the two neighbours since 1951.
So far, 21 Indian Army Chiefs and 17 Nepali Army Chiefs have received the honorary rank of the General of each other's army. This long-held tradition is emblematic of the close ties between the national armies of Nepal and India, the NA said issuing a press statement.
Earlier today, the Chief of the Indian Army had received and inspected a guard of honour presented to him by a contingent of the Nepali Army at the Army Headquarters. The Indian Army chief is on a five–day visit to Nepal at the official invitation of Chief of the Army Staff Prabhu Ram Sharma.
On the occasion, General Pande also planted a sapling in the premises of the main building at the Army Headquarters. Prior to this, he laid a wreath and paid tributes to the 'Brave Soldiers' at the Bir Smarak or memorial at the army pavilion, Tundikhel.
General Pande also had a meeting with his counterpart General Prabhu Ram Sharma.
The NA said they exchanged views on issues of mutual interests and discussed measures to further strengthen the existing bond of friendship and cooperation between the two armies.
Source: National News Agency Nepal