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Recruitment of Nepali Gurkhas ‘legacy of past’, says Nepal FM, calls 1947 treaty ‘redundant’

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India and Britain can recruit Nepali Gurkhas as per the 1947 agreement

Srinagar: Calling the 1947 Tripartite agreement between the United Kingdom, India and Nepal, “redundant,” the Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said that Gurkha recruitment is a “legacy of past” and under the changed context some provisions are questionable.

Quoting Gyawali, a news report by a Delhi based media organization TimesNow, said that it was the first that Nepalese went abroad and it created a lot of jobs in the society in past.

However, in the changed context, the country believes that some provisions are questionable, the report said.

The report added that Gorkha soldiers from Nepal have been an integral part of the Indian Army for over six decades and currently, there are 39 battalions serving in 7 Gorkha regiments.

Earlier In December 2019, Nepal said it wanted to review a military deal which allows its citizens to be enlisted in the British army.

Seeking to take part in the process, Gyawali, according to the report, had said that the government of Nepal should also be part of the recruitment process adding that the agreement should also consider other issues like pensions and other benefits as they are not at par with their British counterparts.

The Gurkha regiments have actively taken part in all the post-independence wars like the Indo-Pak 1965 and 1971 Wars, 1962 Indo-China Conflict, 1999 Kargil War and peacekeeping missions in Sri Lanka.

In February 2020, Nepal officially proposed to the UK a review of a 73-year-old tripartite agreement with India and Britain over the recruitment and deployment of Gurkha soldiers and their perks and facilities and replace it with a bilateral one, according to a media report on Monday.

An agreement between New Delhi, London and Kathmandu following India’s independence from colonial rule in 1947, allowed India and Britain to recruit Gurkhas.

The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on February 12 sent a letter to London, seeking a review of the tripartite agreement.

Nepal’s official request for a review comes months after its Prime Minister KP Oli first raised the issue during his meeting in June last year with the then British prime minister Theresa May in London.

The Tripartite Agreement between the United Kingdom, India and Nepal was a treaty signed in 1947 concerning the rights of Gurkhas in military service.

From the first quarter of the 19th century, Gurkhas from Nepal had served under the British, first in the armies of the East India Company, and then the British Indian Army. The terms and conditions of service for the Gurkhas were solely a matter for the British Indian authorities, without reference to the British Government in London.

In 1947, India became independent from the United Kingdom, and it was decided between the two governments to split the Gurkha regiments between the British and Indian armies- six Gurkha units became part of the new Indian Army, while four were transferred to the British Army.

 

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