An agreement between New Delhi, London and Kathmandu following India''s independence from colonial rule in 1947 allowed India and Britain to recruit Gurkhas, The Kathmandu Post reported.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on February 12 sent a letter to London, seeking a review of the tripartite agreement, the report said.
Nepal’s official request for a review comes months after Prime Minister KP Oli first raised the issue during his meeting in June last year with the then British prime minister Theresa May in London.
After the meeting between Oli and May, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali had said that Nepal had proposed a review of the agreement, to which May had responded “positively”. A joint statement issued after the meeting, however, stopped short of mentioning that Oli had raised the issue.
A senior official at the Prime Minister’s Office said that the letter was sent to the United Kingdom for their consideration as per the policy of the present government to scrap or review all discriminatory treaties and pacts signed with other countries and make them applicable to the changed context, the paper said.
“We are following up on the matter in line with discussions held between the prime ministers of Nepal and Britain last year,” the official told the Post on condition of anonymity as he was not allowed to speak to the media. “We are equally concerned about the grievances of Gurkha veterans.”
The tripartite pact between Nepal, India and Britain assures that all perks, remuneration, facilities and pension schemes for Nepalis serving in the British and Indian armies will be equal to those of British and Indian nationals. However, Gurkha veterans have long alleged that Britain has put in place discriminatory policies in remuneration.
In the letter to the UK government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that Gurkha veterans have genuine grievances that require a generous response from the British side on the basis of equality, justice and fairness, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Post.
The former Gurkhas have demanded that besides providing equal pension, the British government should compensate the entire amount that former and serving Gurkhas did not receive over the years due to discrimination against them in terms of pay, pension and other facilities.
The British government started providing equal pay and pension to Gurkhas in 2007. Since Gurkhas retire after 15 years of service, those who were recruited after 1993 retired after 2007, and became eligible for equal pension. But they were deprived of equal pay and facilities for their service period before 2007.
Moreover, those recruited from 1975 to 1993 retired before 2007 and were deprived of equal pay, pension and facilities; those who served the British Army from 1947 to 1975 when there was no provision for pension were not provided equal pay and facilities. PTI NSA AKJ NSA
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI