South Asia and Beyond

‘Controversy Over Nepal Army Underscores Deeper Political Undercurrents’

NEW DELHI: The Nepal Army brass has come under criticism from opposition party politicians for inking agreements with foreign governments, in this case the US. From an Indian point of view it would seem rather innocuous, signing an agreement for cooperation in disaster relief management with the US National Guard.

But as Maj. Gen. Binoj Basnyat formerly of the Nepal Army explained on The Gist, this is an old issue. Why it has cropped up again is not clear unless there is a larger political battle we are missing.

One of the key issues the controversy has thrown up is China’s political influence in Nepal and whether the Nepal Army is also a victim of such influence. The cancellation of the deal with the US National Guard would suggest so. That also begs the question whether India retains the kind of influence it used to have.

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