Kathmandu, Sep 8 (IANS) Nepal will not join the first-ever joint military drill among the armies of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) members, to be hosted by India next week, an advisor to the Prime Minister said here on Saturday.
Kundan Aryal, Press Adviser to Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, told Xinhua news agency that Nepal will not join the joint military drill to be organized in Pune from September 10-16.
“Nepal will not participate in the BIMSTEC joint military drill. This is the official decision of the government,” he said, without giving details about the reasons behind the decision.
Official sources told Xinhua that the decision was made by the Nepali government amid growing criticism from multiple quarters over the country’s participation in the first ever military drill among the armies of BIMSTEC members.
BIMSTEC — founded in 1997 — is a regional bloc grouping India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.