KATHMANDU: Gerald Howarth, Minister for International Security Strategy at the UK Ministry of Defence has claimed that the retired Gurkha soldiers residing in Britain should be dispersed around the country.
Talking to BBC Radio on Tuesday, Howarth said, “Gurkha veterans settling in Britain should be dispersed around the country in the same way as asylum seekers.”
“There needs to be a policy of dispersal,” stated Howarth, the MP for Aldersho— the home of the British Gurkhas.
Howarth’s hasty comments have sparked anger among the admirers of Gurkhas including all those 7,500 former Gurkhas from Nepal who have settled in the UK in the last two years.
Gurkhas have been an essential part of the British Army for almost 200 years. British Gurkhas have lost more than 50,000 men in different wars and have received 26 Victoria Crosses till date.
It was only in the year 2009 a campaign headed by actress Joanna Lumley succeeded in convincing the UK government to grant British Gurkha soldiers with more than four years of service the right to settle in the UK with their family.