Kathmandu: Minister for Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Govinda Bandi on Wednesday claimed the government has not received any proposal regarding the US State Partnership Program (SPP).
“Neither the government has not received a proposal on SPP nor it is willing to take it ahead,” said Minister Bandi speaking at a meeting of the Parliament. “It’s an attempt to defame the government.”
Minister Bandi claimed that US troops can’t enter Nepal without Nepal’s permission. “It is unthinkable for US troops to come to Nepal. The Government of Nepal has not made any invitation or proposal regarding the State Partnership Program. We have not received any proposal on joining the program.”
A purported draft proposal of the US-Nepal military pact has ignited a heated debate in Nepali politics. Earlier today, speaking at the meeting of the Parliament, lawmaker Gagan Thapa demanded the government to respond to the proposal. “Nepal cannot and will not participate in any alliance involving the Nepal Army,” he said. “I demand with the Speaker to rule Prime Minister to attend today’s meeting and answer the House on the issue.”
There have been general debates and criticisms against both the US and Nepal governments after a document of the agreement said to be proposed by the US Department of Defense on the State Partnership Program between the National Guard and the Nepal Army became public on Monday.
Various Nepali media outlets have published the document—both in Nepali and English. However, the US Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday refuted the media reports on the Nepal-United States military deal.
“The document published in some online outlets that purport to be a military deal between the United States and Nepal is fake,” the embassy tweeted. According to the Embassy, by policy, the United States does not ask countries to join the State Partnership Program and only responds to requests for consideration.