Nepal can communicate with British govt to address grievances of Gurkha veterans: British Defense Ministry

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: The British Ministry of Defense has said that the Nepal government can communicate with the British government to address the grievances of Gurkha veterans.

The UK Ambassador in Nepal is in contact with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on a regular basis and should the Nepal government wish to communicate on the matter of Gurkha veteran grievances, they may do so, the Ministry said in a formal response to a joint letter sent by six Gurkha organizations.

The British government, however, looked reluctant to address the demand by Gurkha veterans for equal pension on a par with their British counterparts. The letter mentions that the matter was also discussed between the Prime Ministers of the UK and Nepal in June 2019 when the then Prime Minister Theresa May emphasized that pension arrangements raised under the Technical Committee would not be re-opened.

The letter further mentions that the funding of Gurkha pensions follows standard British Army accounting procedures. There are no Indian banks involved in the process and the Nepali economy benefits by around £120 million a year from these payments, according to the letter.