CoAS seeks support to end graft in Army

  • Says micromanaging affairs of national defence force is unacceptable
- Post Report, KATHMANDU

Oct 12, 2018-

Amid widespread criticism over corruption and irregularities in the Nepal Army, its chief has sought cooperation and support from all quarters to ‘nip such malpractices in the bud’.

While conceding that such malpractices might have been taking place within the national defence force, Chief of Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa said his sole effort would not be enough to eliminate them.

Addressing his first press conference since assuming the charge of over 92,000-strong force a month ago, General Thapa vowed to put in his entire effort in his three-year tenure to boost the image of the Nepal Army.

“I don’t deny of irregularities and corruption. It takes time to end that and I am fully committed to do that,” the CoAS told the meeting organised to exchange greetings on the occasion of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivals.

On concerns over nepotism and favouritism in recruitment and promotion, General Thapa said he would not tolerate such practice under his leadership.

He, however, defended the income generation works done by the Army, claiming that such works are necessary for the welfare of the incumbent and retired Army personnel. We are running hospitals and schools which are purely welfare activities. This shouldn’t be taken as commercialisation,” he said.

Claiming that some attempts are being made to micromanage the national defence force, General Thapa asserted that the Army “will not accept any sort of interference on any pretext”.

Democratisation of the Nepal Army was one of the issues of peace progress agreed between the then revolutionary Maoist and the government. However, no effort has been made to this effect so far.

“Nepal Army functions on chain of command. Any attempts to micromanage its affairs will not be acceptable,” he said, adding that the Army is against the idea of changing its present structure--that holds centuries-old legacy--in the name of making it small and effective.

“We are committed to the constitution and to be governed accordingly. We won’t hesitate taking any action as per the spirit of the constitution,” he said.

Without naming the forces, CoAS Thapa said the Army is closely watching the secessionist activities carried out by some forces and was ready to take actions if needed under government’s directive.

Published: 12-10-2018 07:44

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