Gurkha Agreement

Nepal‘s recruit­ment began after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–1816), when the East India Com­pany was very impressed by the courage of its oppo­nents. Decades later, Indian Field Mar­shal Sam Maneck­shaw declared, “If some­one says he is not afraid to die, either he is a liar or he is a Gurkha.” After India‘s inde­pen­dence, Nepal, Britain and India signed a tri­par­tite agree­ment allow­ing Nepalese cit­i­zens to be recruited into their armies. In a vir­tual dis­cus­sion “For­eign Pol­icy of Nepal in chang­ing Geopo­lit­i­cal con­text”, organ­ised on Fri­day by the Nepal Insti­tute of Inter­na­tional Rela­tions, the for­eign min­is­ter called on Britain and India — the other two sig­na­to­ries to the 1947 Gurkha Tri­par­tite Agree­ment — to con­duct dis­cus­sions on this issue. “Gorkha‘s recruit­ment is a legacy of the past. It was, on the one hand, the first win­dow open to young Nepalese to go abroad. He has con­tributed in the past to cre­at­ing many jobs for the com­pany. In a dif­fer­ent con­text, some of these pro­vi­sions have become ques­tion­able. At least the tri­par­tite agree­ment of 1947 has become super­flu­ous,” Gyawali replied to a ques­tion. He spoke of a pos­si­ble “bilat­eral” agree­ment with India regard­ing Gorkha‘s sol­diers. Gorkhas has been engaged in con­flicts against States with which Nepal has diplo­matic relations.

India has engaged its Gurkha reg­i­ments in all wars, includ­ing the war with China (1962 and 1967) and against Pak­istan (1947, 1965, 1971, 1999). Although this is allowed by the 1947 agree­ment, it is clear that it needs to be dis­cussed. New Delhi: Nepalese For­eign Min­is­ter Pradeep Gyawali called Gurkha‘s recruit­ment a legacy of the past and called the 1947 tri­par­tite agree­ment super­flu­ous and said some pro­vi­sions were ques­tion­able in the changed con­text. The agree­ments reached in the doc­u­ments signed by the heads of the three del­e­ga­tions con­tain a num­ber of detailed points on which, after agree­ment in prin­ci­ple on the main points, fur­ther nego­ti­a­tions will be nec­es­sary to reach a final agree­ment. In addi­tion, a ref­er­en­dum was held in accor­dance with the agree­ments reached between the three gov­ern­ments to iden­tify the wishes of the men of eight reg­u­lar bat­tal­ions of the Gurkha Rifles and their reg­i­men­tal cen­tres, who were offered a trans­fer to the ser­vice of the British Army. In these cir­cum­stances, the three gov­ern­ments agree that, pend­ing the con­clu­sion of a final agree­ment cov­er­ing not only the points already agreed in Kath­mandu, but also the details that still need to be nego­ti­ated below and until the result of the ref­er­en­dum is known, the pub­li­ca­tion of the texts of the doc­u­ments could be pre­ma­ture and mis­lead­ing. The 1947 agree­ment between India, Nepal and the United King­dom, which deals with the mil­i­tary ser­vice of Gorkha sol­diers, has become “super­flu­ous,” Nepalese For­eign Min­is­ter Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said on Fri­day. Even when rela­tions between Nepal and India over the con­tro­ver­sial bor­der area col­lapsed, rela­tions between neigh­bors recently took a new turn when Nepalese For­eign Min­is­ter Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that a 1947 agree­ment allow­ing India and Britain to recruit Gorkha sol­diers was superfluous.…