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India media says Gurkha recruitment cannot be stopped just yet

N24 Correspondent, KATHMANDU: Even as the government has stopped enlistment of Nepalese nationals in foreign armies, a report in the Indian media claimed Nepal is unlikely to take any formal decision to stop recruitment of Gorkhas in the Indian or the British armies.

The Indian Express has quoted highly placed officials saying a formal decision may not come in the foreseeable future.

It has quoted an official saying “the current arrangement can’t just be terminated at will”. They have pointed out the circular issued “contained no specific instructions about how to move ahead with terminating the recruitment arrangement.”

A concept paper on “Nepal’s Foreign relations in the changed context” submitted to the prime minister by the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations and Human Rights in December had said that permiting recruitment of Gorkhas in the British as well as Indian armies, was against national honour.

It also said Nepal’s foreign policy of “equal distance” with two neighbours, India and China, demanded that arrangement with one neighbour for recruiting Nepalese in their army must be done away with.

The prime minister’s office, however, forwarded the report to the defence and foreign ministries only two weeks ago.

Nepal can not simply act on recommendation of a parliamentary committee, and specific instructions are required from the government for the matter to proceed, the officials said.

The East India Company and Nepal signed a treaty in 1816 forming 10 regiments of Gorkhas. India continued with that arrangement giving choice to the Gorkhas to remain either with the British or Indian armies when it became independent in 1947, the report further said.

Published Date: Monday, March 26th, 2012 | 06:16 PM

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