India committed to provide military equipment to Nepal

Military supplies had stopped in 2005 after deposed King Gynendra Shah assumed absolute powers.

Written by PTI | Kathmandu | Published: October 5, 2013 9:11 pm

India is committed to provide military equipment,including non-lethal weapons and vehicles,required by the Nepal Army to take on security duties during the Constituent Assembly polls,authorities said in Kathmandu,on Saturday.

The commitment was conveyed by Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh to Nepal Army chief General Gaurav Shumsher Rana,who returned home on Saturday after a week-long official visit to India.

“The Indian Army chief…expressed commitment to provide military equipments required by the Nepal Army,” said a statement from the military.

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During her discussions with Rana,Foreign Secretary Singh said India is prepared to provide all kinds of assistance to the Nepal Army and the military equipment that is “in the pipeline would be dispatched before the November 19 polls”.

The equipment includes non-lethal weapons,ammunition,logistics and vehicles for assisting in the election,Nepal Army sources said.

The Indian side also responded positively to Nepal’s request for providing a helicopter,according to army headquarters.

Nepal has projected a need for military gear,including vehicles to be used by the 61,000 troops to be deployed for the Constituent Assembly elections. Last month,Nepal amended its Constitution to allow the mobilisation of the army to ensure free and fair polls.

India had halted military supplies to Nepal in 2005 after deposed King Gynendra Shah assumed absolute powers by imposing emergency rule. Gen Rana,who made the visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart,also inspected a joint training programme at Pithoragarh in Uttar Pradesh.

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The army chiefs of the two countries discussed ways to strengthen ties,promote mutual cooperation and expand military exercises,the military statement said.

Foreign Secretary Singh,during her meeting with Rana,appreciated the Nepal Army’s professional efficiency,non-political image and dedication to democratic values.

Rana also attended the annual founder’s day function of Lawrence School at Sanawar,where he did his undergraduate studies.

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