The Nepal Army (NA) Saturday clarified that it submitted the army integration proposal to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai as per the direction of the Defence Ministry following the decision of Army Integration Special Committee (AISC).
Issuing a press statement, NA’s Directorate of Public Relations expressed serious concern over the media reports surrounding CoAS Chhatraman Singh Gurung's 'briefing' to the Prime Minister as well as his meeting with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav.
Saying that media reports created wrong impression in the public about its recommendation, the NA also refuted that it has agreed to give the post of Brigadier General to the combatants in its proposed directorate.
The NA, however, admitted that it recommended the qualifications for the Maoist combatants, who will be integrated, by going beyond the criteria set by the Army Act on some issues to help break the deadlock of the country and to speed up ongoing peace process.
“The army leadership as out of country during the signing of the seven-point agreement. Though the criteria such as age, education and marital status of the combatants do not fall in the line of the Army Act, this was recommended on the basis of the agreement to speed up peace process,” the statement said.
The NA made it clear that the combatants will not be integrated unit-wise but on individual basis under its existing recruiting standards.
The statement also mentioned that the NA had not come up with any proposal that would run counter to the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA), Interim Constitution and the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA).
Describing the recent meetings of the CoAS with the Prime Minister and the President as "regular briefings", the NA also denied that the proposal was prepared on the advice of retired Lt. General Chitra Bahadur Gurung. nepalnews.com