Will Nepal withdraw its Gurkha soldiers from India?

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indian gurkha regiment
Indian Gurkha Regiment - File Photo

From Aman Raja, Defence Aficionado

No. It cannot afford to do so. Let me explain to you in detail now. Indian Army has seven Gorkha Regiments. Out of which around 25000–30000 Gorkha soldiers are Nepalese Citizen. It’s as per British – India – Nepal Tripartite Agreement signed in 1947 they are recruited in Indian and British Army.

According to this treaty, the Gorkha Regiment was divided into Indian Gorkha Brigade and British Gorkha Brigade. This has the following term

  1. The Gurkha soldier must be recruited as a Nepali citizen, must serve as a Nepali citizen, and must be resettled as a Nepali citizen.
  2. All religious and cultural observances must be preserved in accordance with the demands of the Hindu faith.
  3. Gurkha soldiers in both the Indian and British Armies should receive the same basic rates of pay, although allowances may be paid to reflect differences in the costs of living between countries where Gurkha soldiers might serve outside Nepal.
  4. Subject to satisfactory performance and conduct, all soldiers should be allowed to serve for sufficient time in order to qualify for a pension.
  5. All Gurkha soldiers should be allowed an extended period of leave in Nepal every three years.
  6. Gurkha soldiers recruited into the respective armies are liable for service worldwide. Gurkhas are fully integrated into the Army to which they are recruited and under no circumstances are they to be considered mercenaries.

The catch here is retired Gorkha Soldiers of Indian Army enjoy the better class of living once resettled in Nepal. Moreover, India is the second-largest country from which Nepal receives remittance, a major chunk of which comes from the serving Nepalese soldiers in Gorkha Regiment. The serving and retired together draw around Rs 1,200 crore. They also receive the benefits of ECHS and other ex-servicemen schemes.

Nepal will never try to break this treaty as it will result in a major drop in its flow of remittance.

Hypothetically, even if Nepal government revokes this treaty, this won’t mean that already recruited Gorkhas can be called back. The only way they can be discharged from the service is that Supreme Commander of Armed Forces viz President of India or Government of India revokes their enrollment and discharge them from service. As they were recruited into the Indian Army based on the treaty whose term was to integrate them fully in Army. (As published in Quora)