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Gorakhs are No More for Indian Army

By Shaikh Moazzam Khan

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By Shaikh Moazzam Khan

India is taking aggressive postures in the region which sows its hostile intents. None of Indian neighbor is living in a peaceful environment due to the belligerent policies of Indian armed forces.  Indian government has raked up border dispute with Nepal. At the same time its forces are involved in fist fight with Bengali troops across the Indo-Bangladesh border. In Western Front, Indian Armed Forces are attacking civilians who are living in Pakistani side of the Line of Control. There is not even a single day when Indian troops didn’t shot a bullet. Civilians are losing their lives. At India-China border at Line of Actual Control, Indian troops are violating all military norms by putting their aggressive postures first. Indian border skirmishes with Nepal are also at its peak.

No more Gurkhas for Indian Army as Nepal FM declares 1947 Treaty redundant. Nepali FM has objected to recruitment of Gorkhas in Indian Army. Gorkha strength in Indian Army is almost around 30,000 who remain mostly in mountainous areas of India. Gorkhas are employed by Indian and British Armies as per a 1947 treaty. Nepali leadership wants to review the agreement. The authorities in Nepal have already begin talks with British over this issue and wants to cancel their earlier agreement.

The history of Gorakhs in Indian Army is 200 years old. Gorakhs have been deployed in strategic areas of India. Amid strained ties between India and Nepal, the authorities in Kathmandu are no longer interested in Indian version of narrative regarding the Gorakhs. The Gorkhas are known for their fierce fighting skills and have remained Indian military’s war fighting spear.  When it comes to Indo-Nepal contest, Gorkha soldiers and officers in Indian Army will never fire a bullet on their mother land in Nepal.

Despite of cooperating with Nepali authorities over domestic issues especially after the earthquake, Indian authorities blocked supply of necessary items to Kathmandu. This rude attitude of Indian government is compelling authorities in Nepal to revisit their treaties and ties with India. That is why Nepal is attempting to wriggle out of India’s colony status.

Nepal has its own cultural values and festivities. Although, it has been close ally of India in the past. However, it is now changing its path and foreign policy just like India. Nepal is a much older country with its social norms. Exploitation by India has triggered the response from Nepali masses. The country has decided to challenge Indian aggressions and ambitions. Nepal is now standing up to Indian coercion and that must be encouraged. India must not derail the democracy and its values in the country. The country’s social values must be protected. The territorial sovereignty must be respected.

On the other hand, India is using Gorakhs to accomplish their strategic objectives owing to war capabilities of these Gorakhs. Indian Military has mostly used Gorkhas and Sikh units to lead the fight in its war and conflicts.

Likewise, hiring and recruiting of other countries’ people for another country’s armed for is clear cut violation of international. It is also equal to the mercenary acts committed by other countries. This also shows that Indian military is not capable of fighting its wars by demonstrating its own capabilities. Indian military should prove its power through its own nationals and not through hired bravery. They must rely upon their own people and equipment.

India must honor professional skills of Nepali people and their territorial integrity. There should be no aggressions by Indian authorities against them. The implementation of international norm and laws is responsibility of world community and they should ask India to stop harassing Nepali government. Nepali government must be allowed to act freely when it comes to sign any agreement with other countries. If Nepal decides to end its treaty with British government for the recruitment of Gorakhs, no one should be allowed to pressurizing them.

As per international conventions and laws, all states are free to sign agreements with other states. They cannot be pressurized to change their decisions. Nepal is entirely protecting its own national interests by reconsidering its treaty with British. Here, India can no longer use them as a mercenaries to fight against other countries.

The discrimination by Indian Army vis-à-vis Gurkha soldiers has ultimately forced the Nepali government to ask Indians from not recruiting the Gurkhas. It’s not only at the government level but at the public level too that protests are being made against the recruiting the Gurkhas in the Indian army. Not only that it has sparked a huge row within the Indian army, but has also gave birth to a great controversy across Nepal where general people came out with immense anti-India sentiments.

Instead of responding to the grievances of Nepali government generally and the Gurkhas categorically, the serving and retired Indian military top brass has started threatening the latter, directly and indirectly. One of the former Chiefs of the Indian army Gen. Ved Prakash Malik recently threatened Nepali Gurkhas.

To conclude my argument, I would say here that the time has come where India must honor other states and their laws. Its armed forces must not provoke other countries as that can have severe consequences for rest of the region. Indian government now recruit its own people for armed forces and try not to create panic situation for Nepali government. The use of Gorkhs by Indian Army is not good omen for Nepal’s population. Indian government must give them respect because of their professional skills.

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