Nepal wants to resume recruitment rallies for Nepalese Gorkhas in the Indian Army

By Pinaki Bhattacharya, The India Today

Nepalese Army chief Lt-Gen. Chhatra Man Singh Gurung is said to have asked his Indian counterpart General Deepak Kapoor to restart in Nepal recruitment rallies for Nepalese Gorkhas in the Indian Army.

The recruitment of Nepalese Gorkhas into the Indian Army was stopped in late 2006 after Maoist rebels came 'overground'in Nepal and objected to the practice.

Recruitment was resumed in the middle of this year, but the rallies took place in India at places such as Gorakhpur. It has reported that travelling to India posed a problem for financially weak Gorkhas.

Lt-Gen. Gurung has also asked the defence ministry to increase the quota of the Nepalese Army officers who train in India.

Lt-Gen. Gurung met defence minister A. K. Antony and defence secretary Pradeep Kumar on Tuesday. He also had meetings scheduled at the ministry of external affairs and with national security adviser M. K. Narayanan.

Lt-Gen. Gurung is also reportedly shopping for small arms in India, besides some used battle tanks such as Vijayanta, which are being phased out by the country. He is also expected to have discussed 'integration'of Maoist rebel fighters of the Peoples'Liberation Guerrilla Army with the Nepalese Army.

While India has not opposed the move, New Delhi holds that the Nepalese Army should be apolitical and professional.


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