Kathmandu, September 11

Newly appointed Chief of Army Staff Gen Rajendra Chhetri said today that the trend of harbouring ethnic and regional interests before national interests has posed a serious threat to the country’s territorial integrity, social harmony and national unity.

Addressing Nepal Army personnel a day after taking charge of the national force today, Gen Chhetri also cautioned about possible implications of poverty, regional inequality on social cohesion. This, he said, posed a grave risk to national security.

“We have assessed the overall external and internal security situation as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous,” said Gen Chhetri. Stating that its impacts have been seen in the country’s security, he urged all to be very sensitive toward such developments.

Chhetri, who succeeded Gen Gaurav SJB Rana yesterday, also stated he would devote himself to strengthening and modernizing the 93,000-strong force so as to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national unity.

To achieve this goal, he unveiled ten-point strategy that include framing appropriate policy for command guidance and effective military training, among others.

During his first address as the CoAS, Gen Chhetri also announced his plan to build a central library of Nepali Army at its headquarters and shared his plan of operating an engineering college from the NA’s Welfare Fund.

He also announced an increment in various benefits and packages to be provided by Nepali army to serving and retired servicemen. At least Rs 25,000 would be provided to the families to perform the final rites of deceased retired servicemen. Until now, NA had been providing Rs 10,000 to the families for the purpose.