Army to help institutionalise democracy: Gen Katawal

Kathmandu, June 12:

Chief of the Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal said today that purity, sanctity and integrity of

the Nepali Army should not be compromised in the name of democratising the institution.

Addressing a wreath-laying ceremony organised to commemorate the golden jubilee celebration of Nepal’s participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission, he said the army had always obeyed orders of legitimate government mandated by people and had always been an inclusive institution.

“The army will remain as the ground upon which nascent democracy can take roots and flourish in the days ahead,” the Chief of Army Staff said in a press statement.

Katawal said that many measures have been taken to institutionalise human rights.

“This is reflected by the fact that there has not been a single incident of human rights abuse by the Nepali Army after the commencement of the peace process,” he further said

“The army believes in objective civilian control that ensures depoliticisation, neutrality, and subordination as part of its professionalism and ethos. The essence of objective civilian control is the recognition of autonomous military professionalism,” he stated.

Lauding the role of Nepali peacekeepers and the sacrifice made by them, he said Nepali security forces had excelled in their roles as loyal, dedicated, professional, impartial and committed peacekeepers.

Katawal maintained that the Nepali army, police and civilian personnel were engaging themselves in a wide range of activities, including disarmament, demobilisation and human rights monitoring, to create an environment in which people can lead a normal life.

The Nepali Army has been contributing in United Nations peacekeeping missions for 50 years.

Nepal is the fifth largest contributor to UN’s peacekeeping missions.

Other contributors are Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh which together provide over 45 per cent of the blue berets. At present, 120 countries of the world have been providing 1,10,000 uniformed and civilian peace keepers to the United Nations.