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Nepal backs out of BIMSTEC military drill in India over domestic outrage

The military drill was dragged into controversy as no diplomatic or political level agreement was made before deciding to take part in the exercise

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Nepalese counterpart Khadga Prasad Oli during the inauguration of India-Nepal petroleum products pipeline and the Integrated Check Post (ICP), at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Nepalese counterpart Khadga Prasad Oli (Photo: PTI)

The Army will not participate in the first-ever joint military exercise of nations in next week, an aide of Prime Minister K P Oli said on Saturday, amid reports that the political parties in the country have expressed concern over the drill.

The proposal for the joint was first forwarded by the Indian Army in June, followed by an initial meeting of senior army officials in New Delhi.

Kundan Aryal, press advisor to Oli, told PTI that will not to join the week-long joint to be held in Pune from September 10.

"will not take part in the joint military exercise. This is the official decision of the government," he said.

Aryal, however, did not give any details but indicated that the concerned ministry may issue a formal statement soon.

The government's decision came after strong criticism from different quarters, including influential leaders from the ruling Nepal Communist Party, The Kathmandu Post reported.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

The was dragged into controversy as no diplomatic or political level agreement was made before deciding to take part in the exercise.

Experts are also objecting to the drill saying there is no advantage to Nepal.

First Published: Sat, September 08 2018. 23:30 IST
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