KATHMANDU, Jan 5: Although the Indian media and defense strategy community have been raising serious concerns about the proposed first-ever military drill between China and Nepal, Indian State Minister for External Affairs V K Singh on Wednesday said the drill would not create any rift between Nepal and India.
Responding to a question and answers session at the press conference organized at Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Minister Singh said since the military relations between Nepal and India are unique in the world, any military exercise with China would not create problems in the military relations between the two countries.
This is the first official response from India after Nepal and China agreed to hold the first-ever military drill on dealing with hostage scenario involving international terror groups early next month. “The relation between Nepal Army and Indian Army is very strong. There are a large number of our ex-servicemen and pension for whom goes from India even today,” he said.
Speaking in Nepali language, Minister Singh, who is also a former Indian Army chief, said he is also honorary chief of the Nepal Army. “The relations between the Nepal Army and Indian Army stand on their own. Let’s not see these relations through the lens of a third country,” Singh further said.
Asking everyone not to harbor suspicions over the proposed military drill between Nepal and China, Singh also cited examples of India holding such exercises with various countries including China, UK, France, USA and Russia in the past.
Although Nepal has been holding joint military exercises with other countries including India and the United States, this is the first time the Nepal Army would be holding such an exercise with China.
Responding to a separate query on the political development taking place in Nepal, Minister Singh said India hopes that all sides remain engaged so that peace and aspirations of all people in Nepal are met.