Nepal to seek `non-lethal` military supplies from India
Last Updated: Saturday, August 08, 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 08, 2009, 17:34

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