Amid reports of a rethink on Nepal’s Gorkha recruitment policy, the visiting Nepal foreign minister has said that so far there has not been any change in Kathmandu’s position.
In response to a question in Delhi, Nepal FM Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said, “So far as the Gorkha recruitment in the Indian army is concerned, it is a reality and one of the important components of our relationship.” Adding, “Yes there are academic discussions in societies, in vibrant democracies, there may be different opinions in that regard, but so far govt of Nepal has not changed its position on this issue or made any new decision in that regard”
As part of India-UK-Nepal tripartite agreement of 1947, Gorkha Regiments serve in the British and Indian army. Last year, the FM had called the agreement “redundant” which raised eyebrows in India.
The Gorkha regiments in the Indian army have been a much-celebrated element of the India-Nepal people-to-people relationship. In fact, India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is from 5/11 Gorkha Rifles. The bravery of Gorkhas has been legendary. War cry of the regiments is ‘Jai Maha Kali, Ayo ri Gorkhali’ (Hail Goddess Kali, the Gorkhas are here!), well known on both sides of India-Nepal border.