Kathmandu: The government’s decision to extend the tenure of Yam Bahadur Adhikari, Brigadier General of Nepal Army, has drawn flak from various quarters. Halting the retirement of Adhikari, the government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda had taken the decision to extend his tenure for three more years.
Adhikari, who was a commander of Maoist army during the decade-long conflict, was integrated into the Nepal Army under the PLA integration program in 2012. His tenure as Brigadier General was to end in September. But the government extended his tenure by three more years through the cabinet decision.
Former Nepal Army officers have criticized the decision as a move to politically influence the Nepal Army institution. “This is a flagrant attempt by the government to politicize Nepal Army which is the only apolitical institution in the country,” said Prem Singh Basnyat, former Brigadier General of Nepal Army. “This smacks of the intention to revive the attempt of politicizing Nepal Army that Maoist leadership had tried in 2009.”
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress leader Dr Shekhar Koirala has also objected to the government’s decision and said that the attempt to politicize the Nepal Army will lead to a disaster and said such an attempt should be resisted.
It may be noted that Maoist leader Prachanda had tried to politically influence Nepal Army in 2009 when he sacked the chief of Army Rookmangud Katawal after the latter resisted the plan to integrate nearly all of 20,000 politically indoctrinated PLA soldiers into Nepal Army. His plan to sack Katawal and install a general of his choice, Kul Bahadur Khadka, at the top of the Nepal Army hierarchy was foiled by President Ram Baran Yadav.