Gurkhas laud UK minister’s announcement

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, February 10:

The Federation of Gurkha Ex-Servicemen Nepal has welcomed the announcement of British Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon to carry out a “wide review of the rights of Gurkha soldiers” serving in the British Armed Forces.

“The Federation is especially delighted to note that the British government wanted to know any difference in terms and conditions, which are “absolutely justifiable as well as fully acceptable for the Gurkha soldiers,” a letter recently written to the British Ambassador to Nepal said. The Federation has also stated that although Sir Geoffrey Hoon has said that the review of the terms and conditions would be “wide ranging”, including pay and pensions and accommodation, it has raised apprehension whether the problems of the ex-servicemen would be looked into or not.

“Our main focus are equal pensions and settlement for those who retired prior to July 1, 1997,” the Federation said.