MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi has said that India continues to “look forward” to recruiting Gorkha soldiers from Nepal into the Indian armed forces.
“Look, I would like to say that we have been recruiting Gorkha soldiers to the Indian army for a long time and we look forward to continuing to recruit Gorkha soldiers to the Indian army under the Agnipath Scheme,” Bagchi told a media briefing here on Thursday, Aug 25.
Answering questions on some conflicting reports from Nepal, he said, “That’s the update I have for the moment. If we have something more, I will come back to you on that”.
According to reports in a section of Nepali media, the recruitment process of Nepali youths into the Indian Army has been suspended for now.
The Nepal government conveyed to the Indian government that Nepali recruitment in the Indian Army has been suspended until it is made clear about the “Agnipath” scheme implemented by India to recruit soldiers.
Nepal Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka on Wednesday met and discussed the issue with the Indian Ambassador to Kathmandu, Naveen Srivastava as well, reports said.
Answering questions on the Taiwan issue, he said, “Like many other countries, India too is concerned at recent developments and we urge the exercise of restraint, avoidance of unilateral actions to change status quo, de-escalation of tensions and efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region”.
The MEA spokesman further said, “India’s relevant policies are well known and consistent. They do not require reiteration”.
The spokesman was asked to comment on how China’s constant military pressure on Taiwan is being seen as steps that could create an atmosphere of unrest in the region.
On Indian tourists in Sri Lanka:
To questions on the issue, Mr Bagchi said, “Our understanding is that Indians are still the largest source of tourists for Sri Lanka. As regards travel of Indians to Sri Lanka in the current situation, let me emphasize that safety and well-being of Indian nationals during their stay outside India and including in Sri Lanka in this particular case is always of prime importance”.
He asserted that the endeavour of the Indian government is to prevent any untoward incidents involving Indians outside India.
“We would therefore encourage Indians to exercise all care and caution while in Sri Lanka. They should examine all relevant factors, including currency convertibility and the fuel situation before undertaking any essential travel to Sri Lanka”.
He further said, Indian High Commission of course, is in touch with all local authorities.
“But this was a general guidance to people who are there, tourists who are there, or who are thinking of going, that would be our guidance,” he said.