Nepal to seek `non-lethal` military supplies from India

Last Updated: Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 17:34

Kathmandu: Amid Maoist opposition to any arms
deal with New Delhi, Nepal government today said it will only
seek "non-lethal" military hardware during Prime Minister
Madhav Kumar Nepal`s upcoming visit to India.

"Nepal will only seek no-lethal military hardware from
India," Information Minister and government spokesman Shanker
Pokharel told reporters in Kathmandu.

The opposition Unified CPN (Maoist) has been opposing any
deal to import arms from India, arguing that it will amount to
breaching the Comprehensive Peace Agreement reached between
the government and the former rebels in 2006.

"We will not seek any lethal weapons from India during
the Prime Minister`s visit scheduled to begin from August 18,
because importing lethal weapons is against the Comprehensive
Peace Agreement signed between the Maoists and the previous
government," Pokharel said.

During a recent visit by Defence Minister Vidya Bhandari
to New Delhi, the Nepal government had requested India to
withdraw the ban on arms assistance, he said.

India was "positive" on resuming arms supply which was
halted in 2005 during Nepal`s last monarch Gyanendra`s
absolute rule, he said. During the decade-long Maoist
insurgency, India had provided Nepal military assistance on
the basis of 30 percent cash and 70 percent subsidy.

Pokharel said military assistance and security
cooperation will figure during the talks Madhav Nepal will
have with his counterpart Manmohan Singh in India.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 17:34

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