Nepal may opt out of BIMSTEC military drill

According to the Kathmandu Post, although three Nepal Army officials are already in Pune, the participation of the full squad is now in doubt following the controversy.

Published: 08th September 2018 05:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2018 05:58 PM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi and other BIMSTEC leaders (Photo | Twitter / MEAIndia)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Nepal's participation in the first joint military exercise among armies of the seven BIMSTEC members in Pune next week is in doubt following a political row over the issue in Kathmandu.

On Friday, Nepal's foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali told a parliamentary committee that though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had highlighted the exercise during the fourth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu early last week, there had been no agreement on the deal because other member states including Nepal had opposed it.

"India was free to float the agenda, but we did not endorse it," he said. The House committee had summoned Gyawali to explain after both the foreign and defence ministries declared that the decision to take part in the exercise had been taken without consulting them.

Code-named Milex 18, the six-day anti-terrorism (Sept 10-16) drill will see the participation of 30 army personnel each from the seven member states -- India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand-and conclude with a conclave of army chiefs from these nations.

According to the Kathmandu Post, although three Nepal Army officials are already in Pune, the participation of the full squad is now in doubt following the controversy. Army officials from all member states participated in the planning conference of the exercise held in the third week of June.

Earlier, briefing the media in Pune, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen D R Soni said, "The armies of seven BIMSTEC members are participating. The core theme of this military exercise is counter-terrorism in a semi-urban backdrop.

Platoon sized contingents of the national armies of the BIMSTEC nations will participate in this week-long training exercise. Five officers and 25 Junior Commissioned Officers, plus Other Ranks of all member countries, will be participating, except Thailand, which will only be sending its group of observers due to certain prior commitments."

According to Gen Soni, "We are looking to start a dialogue, sharing of procedures, thoughts, processes and certainly strategies to deal with terrorism collectively."

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments(1)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • c.b.grg.

    I appreciate this excellent decision taken by the Nepal government. The reasons are any war with China in 1962 and with Pakistan in 1965 and in 1971
    3 months ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp