India to resume supply of military aid to Nepal

India to resume supply of military aid to Nepal

India today agreed to resume military supplies to the Nepal Army, including vehicles needed by troops to be deployed for the crucial Constituent Assembly elections in November and advanced helicopters.

The two sides held discussions on a "positive note" regarding the supply of multi-role Advanced Light Helicopters to Nepal by India, said a statement issued here by the Nepal Army.

The decision to resume military supplies was made during a meeting between Nepal Army chief Gen Gaurav S J B Rana and his Indian counterpart Gen Bikram Singh in New Delhi.

"During the meeting, the Indian side assured about early resumption of military aid to Nepal, some of which is already in the pipeline," the statement said.

"Keeping in view Nepal's forthcoming Constituent Assembly elections, India has also expressed commitment to provide necessary vehicles to the Nepal Army."

Discussions were held on a "positive note" regarding delivery of the Advanced Light Helicopters to the Nepal Army, according to the statement. India also agreed to train Nepal Army technicians in maintaining the helicopters.

India's decision to resume military supplies comes at a time when the Nepal government has decided to deploy 61,000 army personnel to ensure free and fair elections on November 19, and the army is short of military equipment and logistics.
Indian military aid has been stalled for a long time, most notably after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between seven political parties and the Maoists in 2006.

India halted military supplies to Nepal in 2005 after deposed King Gynendra Shah assumed absolute powers by imposing emergency rule.
Gen Rana had yesterday flown to the Indian capital with a five-member delegation for a week-long visit.

Rana is on an official visit at the invitation of the Indian Army chief. This is his second official visit to India after he assumed the post of army chief. He had last visited India in January.

Rana travelled from Delhi to Pithauragadh in a special helicopter today to inspect the consolidated exercise of the Indo-Nepal Joint Training Group.

During the visit, the Nepal Army delegation was briefed about the exercise by Maj Gen Rajeev Panta, General Officer Commanding of 6 Mountain Division.

Rana is scheduled to visit the headquarters of the Indian Army's Western Command on Tuesday.

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