Nepal's Chief of Army Staff Addresses National Security Concerns

Gen. Sharma underscores the impact of geopolitical rivalries and refugee challenges on Nepal's security
Nepal's Chief of Army Staff Addresses National Security Concerns

General Prabhu Ram Sharma, the Chief of Army Staff, has mentioned that Nepal is not currently encountering significant security threats. In a session of the Federalism Strengthening and National Concerns Committee at the National Assembly, Gen. Sharma recognized certain possible security concerns arising from Nepal's delicate geopolitical position, porous borders, environmental changes, workforce migration, cyber risks, and artificial intelligence technology. Nonetheless, he emphasized that these issues are not insurmountable challenges.

Gen. Sharma noted that while occasional incidents occur based on religious, cultural, and ethnic identities, these are typically resolved at the local level by political parties. He mentioned that although Mongolian national organizations and identitarian groups sometimes become agitated, it does not constitute a national problem. Similarly, the group led by Durga Prasain also carries out activities periodically, but these do not significantly impact national security.

The head of the army emphasized that the current unstable political situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan are impacting the region of Nepal. He highlighted the increasing rivalry between India and China to extend their control in South Asia, along with the growing sense of religious and cultural nationalism in India, as factors affecting the balance of power and stability in the region, consequently influencing a country like Nepal. Gen. Sharma also voiced apprehension about the potential social, economic, and religious challenges that Rohingya refugees escaping the internal strife in Myanmar might bring to Nepal.

Regarding Nepal's relations with neighboring countries, Gen. Sharma emphasized the importance of never provoking India and China for national security reasons. However, he stated that if these countries do something undesirable, Nepal should oppose it. He acknowledged the interests of the European Union and the United States in Nepal, stressing the need to maintain a balanced approach by engaging in dialogue with all parties for the country's benefit.

Gen. Sharma mentioned that Nepal needs the support of all nations and that the Nepali Army is being sensitive to work in a balanced manner. He highlighted the importance of leveraging assistance from various countries, including the U.S. and China, without compromising Nepal's interests or harming relationships.

The head of the military depicted the current security status of Nepal as steady, without significant obstacles, while recognizing the necessity to handle the dynamics of the region and uphold equitable ties with prominent nations for the welfare of the nation.

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