As Nepal and India have many commonalities, they too have several unique characters in their relationship. Sharing same civilization, the unique characters existing between the two countries have stood as solid foundations for enduring good and friendly relations all the time.
Although both the countries are independent, some of those traditions show how their common interest is inseparable. In continuation of the tradition, Nepal Army Chief General Prabhu Ram Sharma was conferred with the honorary rank of ''General of the Indian Army'' by President Ram Nath Kovind.
General Sharma completed his four-day visit to India aimed to explore ways to expand bilateral cooperation between the two countries. In a similar manner, Nepal conferred the honorary rank of ''General of Nepal Army'' to Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane during his visit to Kathmandu in November last year.
As China’s influence is growing in South Asia, Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region and the visit of COAS General Sharma is highly important.
He visited the National Defense College (NDC) in New Delhi where he was inducted into the “Wall of Honor” amidst a felicitation ceremony. He is the first one to be inducted into the “Wall of Honor”.
“This honor is given to a distinguished NDC Alumni only. Gen Sharma completed his National Defense Course from the National Defense College in 2013,” said the press release issued by Nepal Army.
The high importance accorded on General Sharma during his formal visit is understandable as India wants to further strengthen its existing military to military relations with Nepal Army.
Nepal-India diplomatic relations have seen many ups and downs in the last few years. However, the relations between the two armies remain cordial. The visit of Nepal Army Chief General Sharma also indicates the thaw in the relationship between the two countries which had been frosty over Nepal’s claims at Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand.
According to a press release issued by Nepal Army, General Sharma paid courtesy calls to Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during the visit.
Army chief General Sharma met all important officials including the three service chiefs and defense secretary Ajay Kumar.
After the meeting with General Sharma, Indian external affairs minister, S Jaishankar said his visit underlines close relations between the two countries. .
“Pleased to receive General Prabhu Ram Sharma, chief of Army staff of Nepali Army. His visit underlines the closeness of our relationship,” tweeted minister Jaishankar.
“COAS General Sharma exchanged views on issues of bilateral interests and discussed measures to further strengthen the existing bond of friendship and cooperation between the two armies,” said a press release.
During 2015, visit of Nepal Army Chief Rajendra Chhetri helped to bring back two countries’ relationship on the track. General Sharma’s recent visit and his interactions with high level personalities will add something new.