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Gen Singh offers Nepal help in army integration process

world Updated: Apr 05, 2012 22:06 IST

Army chief Gen VK Singh on Thursday offered all possible help to Nepal in its army integration process and for disaster management, saying India will do whatever it can to take forward the bilateral ties.

"'Nepal ko hit ma India ko hit chha' (whatever is in the interest of Nepal will be in the interest of India too)," he said in Nepali, replying to a question from reporters as to how India would like to help in expediting the army integration process of former Maoist combatants and disaster management in Nepal.

"Anything that Nepal wants to do we will stand side by side, with what they want to do," he said.

"To that extent whatever assistance is asked from us as friends and brothers we will give that," Gen Singh said after observing a counter-hijacking demonstration at the Tribhuvan International Airport here on the conclusion of a three-day regional seminar.

Earlier, during a meeting with Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Gen Singh said "Indian army is strong and unified and it has displayed unity in diversity," the Premier's press adviser Ramrijhan Yadav told reporters.

"Indian army has great faith in democracy," Gen Singh was quoted as saying.

"As we have worked as per the norms and values of democracy and we have been able to bring the insurgent group called 'Mizoram National Front' to the political mainstream. I am hopeful that the Maoist soldiers would also follow the same by merging themselves with the Nepal army under the ongoing peace process," Gen Singh was quoted as saying by Yadav.

On his part, Bhattarai said Nepal army is also democratic and professional as they have been trained by the Indian army.

He said that the peace process and the Constitution-making have come to the final stage in Nepal.

"The Maoist combatants will soon be integrated into the national army," Bhattarai said.

In a few days, the process of army integration will begin and the arms will be handed over to the government.

"The cantonments will soon be vacated," Bhattarai said.

The Indian army chief had high-level meetings on the sidelines of the Regional Seminar on Natural Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

Besides Bhattarai, he called on President Ram Baran Yadav and met deputy Prime Minister and defence minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar.

"Our aim is to expand and consolidate friendship between Nepal and India" and "we will do whatever we can to move forward the bilateral relations," Gen Singh said.

"I have told the Prime Minister that whatever is in the interest of Nepal will be in the interest of India," he said.

"So far India and Nepal are concerned we have great similarities in the types of disaster we are facing," Gen VK Singh said.

He was addressing the concluding session of the three-day regional conference on disaster management and humanitarian assistance organised at the initiative of Nepal Army in Kathmandu.

"We can assist each other on the basis of lessons learnt from the past disasters."

Every year Indian Army is busy providing humanitarian assistance in one or the other kind of natural disasters, he pointed out.

"We are ready to work together and share our knowledge and expertise to all our regional neighbours", he said.

We can tackle the problems of natural disaster if we prepare some sorts of work plan on the basis of the past experience, he maintained.

Military shows the first response towards incidents of natural disaster and besides the army all other sections of the society have to work in close cooperation during disasters, he pointed out.

The regional conferenced attracted some 60 military experts, delegates and observes from USA, China and SAARC member countries including India.

The conference was aimed at building a common regional perspective on plan, management and implementation among the armies in the region to deal with natural disaster.

US Pacific Command's Third Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General Lt. Gen Kenneth J Gluek, jr was among the high ranking army official attending the conference.

On the concluding day, various participants of the programme including those from India were provided with certificates.