Ex-Gurkha Army’s issues in high priority: DPM Thapa

Kathmandu, May 10: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa said that the government was taking the Ex- British Gurkha soldiers’ issues with a high priority as a national agenda.

Speaking in a meeting of the Labour and International Relations Committee under the Legislature-Parliament today, DPM Thapa assured of finding out the resolution of the issues by holding serious talks with the United Kingdom (UK) through diplomatic channel.DPM Thapa said that the suggestions received from the lawmakers had inspired and supported him to initiate to resolve the issues. He further claimed that the government was strongly initiating to resolve the issues in the past and efforts would be strengthened in the days ahead as well.

Speaking in the meeting, lawmakers said that the provision adopted by the UK government in allowance and pension to the UK Army and Nepalese serving in the same rank was inappropriate and discriminatory.

They suggested the government to initiate to resolve the issues and take necessary steps as the Gurkha nationals were staging hunger strike and street protests for equal treatment.

As many as 3,500 Nepalese are currently serving in the British Army and about 35,000 are receiving pension. It is learnt that Nepal is annually receiving about 35 billion rupees remittance from the retired Army.

Now the Nepalese nationals recruited in the service after 1997 are receiving equal pension and other facilities while before the date there was the discrimination.
A tripartite treaty among Nepal, India and UK was signed on November 9, 1947 on recruiting Nepalese nationals in the British Army.

Earlier, such meeting has been directing the government to review the provision of recruitment of Nepalese nationals in the British Army.

The invitees from the protesting Ex- British Gurkha soldiers in the meeting suggested the government to form a dialogue team to resolve the issues.