New Delhi, September 4
The Army Chief, Gen Manoj Pande, will be on a four-day visit to Nepal starting Monday. This is his first visit to the neighbouring country and comes at a time when Nepal has stopped recruitment of its youth under the Agnipath scheme.
Under Agnipath, troops are recruited in the armed forces only for four years. After the period, only 25 per cent are to be retained. Nepal has objected to the four-year tenure.
Sources said Nepal was expected to raise the matter with General Pande. India is not keen on making a special dispensation for Nepali youth, but will handle this diplomatically. The Indian Army carries on with the tradition of recruiting Nepali youth in the Gorkha regiment. The British had started the system almost 200 years ago. Continuing a tradition of friendship between both armies, the Indian Army Chief will be conferred with the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army tomorrow at a ceremony at the official residence of the President of Nepal. General Pande will meet his Nepalese counterpart apart from meeting the country’s senior military and civilian leadership where he will discuss avenues for enhancing India-Nepal defence relations.
General Pande is scheduled to call on the PM of Nepal on September 6.
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