The 1947 agreement among India, Nepal and the United Kingdom that deals with the military service of Gurkha soldiers has become “redundant,” Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said recently.
What is the issue?
- The Foreign Minister of Nepal alleged that the 1947 agreement which divided the Gurkha regiments of the British empire between India and the United Kingdom has become redundant as the Gurkha veterans have been alleging that the U.K. has been discriminating against them.
- However, he spoke of a possible “bilateral” arrangement with India regarding the Gurkha soldiers.
Details about the tripartite agreement
- In 1947, when India became independent, it was decided to split Gurkha regiments between the British and Indian armies.
- From the first quarter of the 19th century, Gurkhas had served under the British, first in the armies of the East India Company, and then the British Indian Army.
- East India Company first recruited Gurkhas after suffering heavy casualties during the Anglo-Nepalese War also known as the Gurkha War.
- It ensured that Gurkhas in British and Indian service would enjoy broadly the same conditions of service as that of British and Indian citizens.
Facts about Gurkhas
- After the 1947 Tripartite Agreement, the British Army amalgamated the Gurkha regiment into combined Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR). Currently, the Gurkhas comprise up to 3% of the British Army. In 2015 they completed 200 years of service in British Army.
- Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is guarded by two personal Gurkha officers.
- The Gurkhas are recruited every year at the British Gurkha camp at Pokhara in Nepal. The camp enlists fresh recruits not only for the British Army, but also for the counter-terror arm of the Singapore Police Force.
- Their signature weapon of Gurkhas, Khukri, forms part of the Gurkha regimental insignia in Britain as well as in India.