Kathmandu- The government is making preparations to reduce the tenure of the Inspector General (IG) of the Armed Police Force (APF) to three years.
According to a high-level source at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the ministry is working on the amendment of the Armed Police Regulations 2072 to reduce the tenure from four to three years.
“There is a consensus among all to amend the regulations of the Armed Police Force and reduce the tenure of the Inspector General,” said the high-level source from the Home Ministry. “Likewise, the Federal Police Act governing the Nepal Police will also be approved soon.” “If the regulations of the APF get amended from the cabinet, the current IGP will soon bid adieu,” the source added. The APF is a paramilitary land force tasked with counter-insurgency operations in Nepal.
The regulations cap the tenure of the IGP at four years. The high-level source also told Kathmandupati that both Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa have almost agreed on revising the provision related to the tenure of the IGP.
If the amendment proceeds and comes into effect, the current APF’s IG Shailendra Khanal will retire in Chaitra (mid April 2021). The existing provision of a four-year tenure, however, would allow IG Khanal to serve on the APF as its head until mid April 2022. The government had appointed Khanal as the IGnof APF in April 10, 2018 through a cabinet decision. Following Khanal’s retirement, Pushpa Ram KC, who is an Additional Inspector General of the APF, will have the chance to head the organization that comprises of 37,119 soldiers. KC is the most senior officer in ranking of the APF after the IG.
Khanal has caused several controversies after assuming the role of the IG, and is facing accusations of failing to maintain the chain-of-command as well as transparency in financial transactions in the organization.
The government has already reduced the tenure of the Nepal Police to three years. The Home Ministry source said that the preparation to lower the tenure of the APF was aimed at maintaining a uniformity in the term of office between the two police forces of the country.
Though the Home Ministry has also taken forward a discussion on scrapping the provision of a 30-year service term in the Nepal Police, the Ministry has not yet reached a conclusion, according to the source. The proposal made by the Home Ministry has reached the cabinet after a consultation with the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, however, a decision has not yet been made.