Kathmandu, September 9:

CPN-Maoist central leader Barsha Man Pun ‘Ananta’ today said the government had no plan to stop Gorkha recruitment till the government could provide suitable opportunity for them within the country.

Speaking at a press conference organised by Nepal Ex-Servicemen’s Association (NESA) in Kathmandu, Pun said the idea of closing Gorkha Recruitment Centre had been put off until the government could provide enough employment opportunities for them within the country.”

Recruitment of Nepali youths in foreign army is an issue of national sovereignty, he said, adding that anything against the freedom and sovereignty of the nation was not welcome in new Nepal Nepali Congress central member Bal Krishna Khand was also against the idea. “I am against stopping Gorkha recruitment right now. But we have to create more jobs to ensure that many Nepalis got employment here,” he said.

UML central member Hem Raj Rai said the government should help Nepali youths working in army abroad get equal rights to their counterparts rather than stopping them from being recruited in foreign countries.

NESA members said closure of GRC would invite protest from 250,000 Gurkha army personnel and their families. The government should find an alternative before taking any decision on Gurkha recruitment, they said.

Secretary general of NESA Narayan Prasad Koirala said the Prime Minister should not raise the issue of stopping Gorkha army recruitment during his visit to India.

“If the issue is raised by the Indian government, the PM should urge them to continue Gorkha recruitment till arrangement of jobs were made for them back home,” he said.