Nepal Army chief leaves on a goodwill visit to China

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Kathmandu, Jan 6: Nepal Chief of Army Staff General Rookmangud Katawal left here today for a week-long official visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese Army. Gen Katwal left for China within a month of India visit where he was awarded the rank of honorary General of Indian Army by President Pratibha Patil.

He said, ''Nepal army is Nepali people's army that is paid by the people. It is national army so it should not be kept under any isms, ideology and political motivation. It should be kept impartial.'' His statement has come at a time when there is discussion about the integration of Maoists fighters in the Nepal army. ''While seeking solution to any problem, we should always be careful that it will not trigger another serious problem,''he said.

''Nepal army is country's national army. Its primary concern is to safeguard Nepal's national unity and integrity,'' he said refering to the voice raised by Madhesi people.

''I am heading for a goodwill visit to China. I will work under the government's order and briefing of the Defense Minister and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala,'' Kantipur quoted him as saying. The army chief was originally scheduled to leave for China yesterday, but the plan was altered due to bad weather condition.

UNI

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