British Parliament to debate on petition demanding equal pensions to Gurkha veterans

As per the rules, the petition gets a response from the British government once it gets 10,000 signatures and is considered for a debate in Parliament after receiving 100,000 signatures. (Photo: British Parliament)

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Kathmandu: The British Parliament will debate on a petition demanding equal pensions to Gurkha veterans on par with their British counterparts.

Jonathan Gullis MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and the government will send a minister to respond in the debate scheduled for 6 pm on Monday (local time), according to the official website of the British Parliament.

The petition, which has more than 106,000 signatures, states: “We are demanding that the government treats Gurkhas fairly and pays them the same pension as other British veterans of the same rank and service. Many Gurkhas joined the Queen’s Gurkha Army believing their pension would sustain them and their families but sadly this has not been the case.”

As per the rules, the petition gets a response from the British government once it gets 10,000 signatures and is considered for a debate in Parliament after receiving 100,000 signatures.

In response to the petition, provided on August 19, the British government had said: “For most Gurkha veterans the Gurkha Pension Scheme provides a pension at least as good as, and in many cases better than, that given to their British counterparts with identical periods of service.”

Ex-Gurkhas, in August, had staged a relay hunger strike in the United Kingdom to put pressure to address their demands. They had ended the 13-day hunger strike on August 20 after the British government agreed to discuss their long-standing grievances over pension rights.

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