NATIONAL

Nepal to skip BIMSTEC military drill in India

K.P. Oli  

The Nepal Army has withdrawn from the first BIMSTEC military exercise to be held in India following a political row in the country over the participation in the event, a media report said on Saturday.

Prime Minister K.P. Oli asked the national defence force not to participate in the drill, compelling the Nepal Army leadership to rollback its earlier decision to take part in the first-ever military exercise of the regional grouping initiated by India. The decision was taken just a day before the Army squad was set to travel to Pune, where the drill will commence on Monday, theKathmandu Postreported.

The move came after strong criticism from different quarters, including influential leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) comprises Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.