Context: Foreign Minister of Nepal recently said that the 1947 agreement among India, Nepal, and the United Kingdom that deals with the military service of Gorkha soldiers has become redundant.
More on the news:
- Foreign Minister of Nepal spoke of a possible “bilateral” arrangement with India regarding the Gorkha soldiers.
- While dealing with the various aspects of India-Nepal ties, the Nepal Minister said India should also respond to Nepal’s request for talks on the Kalapani dispute to prevent the issue from impacting people-to-people relations.
1947 agreement among India, Nepal, and the United Kingdom
- By the time the First World War started, there were 10 Gurkha regiments already in the British Indian Army.
- When India got freedom, these regiments were divided between the British and Indian armies. This was done as per the Britain–India–Nepal Tripartite Agreement signed in November 1947.
- The agreement also assured that the Gorkha soldiers of Nepal while serving in the British military will draw perks and privileges equivalent to their counterparts.
- It was on the one hand the first window that was opened to Nepali youth to go abroad. It also helped create a lot of jobs for the society in the past.
Discrimination against Gorkha veterans :
- In the changed context, some of those provisions in the 1947 agreement have become questionable.
- Gorkha veterans have been alleging that the U.K. has been discriminating against them.
- Nepal PM had also written to the United Kingdom to review the engagement with London to secure the prospects of the Gorkha soldiers.
- Gurkhas in Indian Army: On the other hand, the objection from Nepal regarding the Gorkhas serving in the Indian military has been heard more prominently in the recent months in the backdrop of Nepal-India territorial dispute over the Kalapani region.
- Currently, a large number of Nepalese Gorkhas serve in the Indian military.
- The Gorkha Regiments of the Indian Army are raised partly by recruitment from hill districts of Nepal.
- Also, the Indian Army Chief is granted the honorary post of a General in the Nepal Army.
Soldiers from Nepal enjoy the same benefits as the Indian troops both during service and after retirement. They get the same medical facilities as the Indian soldiers. They can avail of healthcare facilities in India as well.
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