Law minister says the government hasn’t received any proposal on SPPBandi’s response in Parliament comes amid calls from lawmakers for clearing the air surrounding the US programme.
Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Govinda Sharma Bandi has claimed that the Nepal government hasn’t received any proposal to sign the United State government’s State Partnership Programme between the Nepal Army and the United States National Guard.
Responding to concerns from the lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Bandi rubbished the claim that the US was pushing for signing the deal.
“The Nepal government hasn’t invited the State Partnership Programme (SPP). Neither it has forwarded any proposal for it nor received one,” Bandi said in the Parliament. “Let me make it very clear… This is a rumour targeted at defaming the government.”
Addressing the lower house on Wednesday, cross-party lawmakers demanded that the government clear the air on SPP.
Nepal’s participation in the programme got a renewed push last week during the visit of Commanding General of the US Army Pacific Charles Flynn to Nepal.
During his meetings with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and chief of the Army Staffs Prabhu Ram Sharma, Flynn called for signing the SPP. It ignited heated debates in the political and intellectual circle after some of the media made public a draft of proposal of the programme. The cross party lawmakers including those from ruling Nepali Congress have said Nepal shouldn’t be a part of any military strategy.
Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka tried to clarify on Tuesday that Nepal is not joining any military alliance.
“It is just a rumour that we will join the military alliance,” he said while replying to questions by lawmakers surrounding Nepal’s possibility of joining the Indo-Pacific Strategy and State Partnership Program.