Speaker asks govt to inform about SPP withdrawal

Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota has instructed the government to inform the Federal Parliament about the government’s decision regarding the US’s State Partnership Programme (SPP) and its implementation status on Thursday.

Speaker Sapkota ruled to inform the House about the government’s decision on SPP and its implementation status, saying that his attention had been drawn to the question raised by the MPs of the ruling and the opposition parties regarding the status of SPP. “My attention has been drawn to the SPP and I direct the government to inform the House about the decision of the Government and its implementation status in this regard,” he said during the House session.

It has been a long time since the Cabinet meeting decided not to implement the SPP agreement, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not sent a letter to the US about this. Former Defense Minister and the UML leader Bhim Bahadur Rawal, CPN-Maoist Centre MP Dev Prasad Gurung and others had drawn the attention of the Speaker to rule that the government had not sent a letter stating that they would not participate in the SPP.

The State Partnership Programme (SPP) is a joint programme of the United States Department of Defense and the individual states, territories, and District of Columbia. The SPP is a funded programme originating in 1993, shortened the advisory presence to a United States National Guard unit of a designated state, called a partner, which would conduct joint exercises with the host. Once started, SPP activities appear to continue regardless of what other memberships a host nation may have.

The participation in this programme was highly criticized in the Federal Parliament and outsiders as news appeared in the media that the government agreed to participate in the programme. The government decided to withdraw from this programme after it was criticized. However, the government has not corresponded with the US officially yet.

Source : TRN,