Nepal, India security talks next week

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 3, 2014-

The 11th meeting of Nepal-India Bilateral Consultative Group on security issues is taking place in Kathmandu on Sunday and Monday where joint secretaries of respective Foreign Ministries will decide on Nepal Army’s request for the supply of military stores, equipment and other issues.

Originally scheduled on June 8 and 9, the meeting was deferred on the request of the Indian side who were busy with preparations for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit.

Joint Secretary Amrit Rai, who looks after India and South Asia at the Foreign Ministry, will be leading the 15-member Nepali delegation. Heading a 13-member Indian team will be Abhay Thakur, JS, North at Ministry of External Affairs, the Army said a statement on Thursday.

“The meeting is expected to discuss the procurement of military equipment for trainings, joint exercises, counter-terrorism, information sharing between the two armies,” the statement read.

At a group’s meeting last year, the NA had requested India for an immediate supply of arms valued at NRs 1.76 billion.

India resumed the military supplies, constituting non-lethal support, to Nepal last year, following a successful integration of former Maoist combatants into the NA. The southern neighbour had imposed restriction on supply of arms to Nepal in 2005 after former king Gyanendra Shah took over executive powers and restricted democratic and civil liberties.

According to informed sources, the NA is seeking to purchase more than 26,000 weapons of various kinds including several thousand Indian-made Insas rifles; more than 11 million rounds of ammunitions; bomb disposal equipment and explosives for training purpose. Also on the NA shopping list are landmines, detonators, safety fuses and time pencils.   

India will be providing some of the weapons in grant, while some will be on loan after a down payment of 60 percent, said Nepali officials.

Forty-five trucks, laden with bullets, bomb disposal items and explosive devices provided by India, had reached Kathmandu on second week of June.

Under the non-lethal consignment, the NA had received several hundred vehicles including 35 armoured, 216 light and 154 heavy vehicles. Among the heavy vehicles were 58 trucks with a capacity of 7.5 tonnes.

Published: 04-07-2014 08:55

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