SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I N   N E W S

UK to allow 36,000 Gurkhas to home in

Gurkhas are needed not just for their professionalism, but to boost numbers in an Army that is nearly 4,000 soldiers short

Nepal is understood to be concerned that the loss of so many citizens and their army pensions could leave a huge hole in its economy

London, January 29
In a U-turn of its earlier policy, Britain is set to allow an estimated 36,000 Gurkhas who served in the British Army before 1997 and their families to settle here, conceding a long-pending demand by the former soldiers.

The home office was forced to take action after a ruling from high court judges in October that the government needed to review its policy on whether the Gurkhas who had served the army before 1997 the year Hong Kong was handed over to China could live in Britain.

The policy change is expected to benefit about 36,000 Gurkha soldiers, according to a report in The Times today.

The report also said Nepal is understood to be concerned that the loss of so many citizens and their army pensions could leave a huge hole in its economy.

Quoting officials, it the forthcoming decision has such far-reaching consequences that concerns have been raised about the continuing recruitment of Gurkhas from Nepal.

It said defence officials have warned the Home Office that if the right to live in Britain were extended to every Gurkha who has served in the British Army, Nepal might scrap the 1947 agreement under which its young men have been recruited each year.

Since the tripartite agreement was signed with Nepal and India, the Nepalese economy has relied on income coming into the country from Gurkhas serving with the British Army.

The home office has come up with certain criteria for settlement that will keep the numbers down without flouting the judgment of the court.

The defence ministry denied a report last week that it planned to scrap the Gurkha Brigade because of the potential multimillion-pound cost of paying out bigger pensions to the Nepalese veterans if granted settlement rights. PTI

Back

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |