After Nepal decided to skip the first ever BIMSTEC military exercise in India, its newly appointed Army Chief Purna Chandra Thapa has declined an invite by the Indian Army to attend a conclave of army chiefs of the grouping on September 16, official sources said.
The militaries of BIMSTEC member nations, barring Nepal and Thailand, began a week-long anti-terror exercise at Aundh near Pune on Monday to enhance cooperation in dealing with the challenge of terrorism in the region.
Each participating country has sent its troops as well as a three-member team as observers. Though Nepal and Thailand are not participating in the exercise, both the countries sent observers for it.
The Indian Army has organised a conclave of army chiefs of the participating countries on September 16, and barring Nepal, all the countries have accepted the invitation.
They said Nepal's Gen. Thapa conveyed to the Indian Army his inability to attend the conclave as he has prior engagements including ceremonial events to attend in his country, the sources said. Gen. Thapa was sworn in as Nepal's Army Chief on Sunday.
The development comes in the backdrop of China's growing overtures towards Nepal for deeper economic and security cooperation. Last month, Nepal had announced that it would participate in a military exercise with China.
The sources said hat Thailand conveyed to India that it will send a senio...