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Nepal refuses to participate in first BIMSTEC joint military exercise

Published on September 11, 2018
Nepal has refused to participate in the inaugural joint military exercise of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) 

Nepal refuses to participate in first BIMSTEC joint military exercise
countries scheduled to be held in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • Nepal's withdrawal comes in wake of stringent criticism from ruling and opposition parties in the country.

Reasons for Nepal's backing out:

  • Nepal is saying that the BIMSTEC military drill is beyond the agenda of BIMSTEC.
  • It also goes against the country's history of following policy of keeping equal distance from its neighbours, without ever being part of a regional bloc militarily.
  • Experts believe that non-participation of Nepal in such 'military drill' certainly seems like a political call and comes at a time when Nepal-China relations are on upward trajectory and BIMSTEC connectivity seen as counter to China's BRI (Belt and Road Initiative).

About the BIMSTEC Military Exercise:

  • The first BIMSTEC field training exercise will be conducted at the Foreign Training Node at Aundh in Pune, Maharashtra from September 10 and 16, 2018.
  • Armies of BIMSTEC members including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Nepal were to participate in it.
  • The theme of exercise includes counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain and cordon and search.
  • The main aim of this military exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism.
  • The exercise is required to have platoon-level participation of around 30 soldiers from each BIMSTEC member countries for exercises involving counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain and cordon & search.
  • Now, Nepal will be only sending a three-member observer team.
  • Apart from Nepal, Thailand will also not be participating in the military exercise and will be represented by observer.


Q. Where will the first BIMSTEC field training exercise be conducted from September 10 to 16, 2018?
a. Indore, Madhya Pradesh
b. Pune, Maharashtra
c. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
d. None of the above

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