Army integration in six months: Badal

Itahari, August 26:

Minister for Defence Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ today said the People’s Liberation Army would be integrated into the Nepal Army within six months.

Minister Badal, who arrived here to visit the flood ravaged areas in Sunsari district, said this while talking to the mediapersons at Pakali-based eastern regional headquarters of the Armed Police Force.

“An understanding has been reached to integrate the People’s Liberation Army into the Nepal Army within three to six months once the government gets full shape”, Badal said.

“The special committee would handle the process and work to integrate the two armies and it would be formed by the government,” he said.

He said that the NA had no role to paly in the integration. Asked to comment on the remarks of the Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, Badal said, “The decision on the integration is not under the jurisdiction of the army. It is the duty of the government.”

When asked on Katuwal’s remarks that the Nepal Army fully honours the sentiments of the people, he said in that case the army should also respect the decision taken by the government elected by the people.

The current peace process would not be lasting without integrating the People’s Liberation Army into the Nepal Army, he said.

The CPN-Maoist has no intention to the misuse the army welfare fund, he said, adding,

“Several steps would be taken to curb the corruption, if there is any.”

Replying to a query that why the government has not got full shape yet, the Defence Minister said that soon after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ returns from China, the row over the order of hierachy in the cabinet would be solved and the government would get full shape.

He said the CPN-UML would get the second seniormost ministerial position in the cabinet.

Stating that the government was working for the rehabilitation of the flood victims, Badal said that the state would not sign any treaty like Koshi in future.

Minister for Physical Planning and Works Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, who accompanied Badal, said the government was seriously working to rehabilitatate the flood victims.

Inspector General of Police Om Bikram Rana, Armed Police Force IGP Basu Dev Oli, Defence Secretary Baman Prasad Neupane and Home Secretary Umesh Mainali also arrived here with Minister Badal.