Die for the UK but don’t try and live here

1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles

1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles

The disgraceful treatment of Gurkhas continues, despite very strong protests, which have been ongoing for years.

Gurkha Corporal Kumar Pun served in the Gurkhas for 14 years, just one month in to a tour of Afghanistan he was killed in a suicide bomb attack.
The first step was to alert his wife Parbati, just 24 hours after his death that she and their children could be ordered out of the UK next year, when their Visa expires.

This position was subsequently changed with the UK Borders Agency stating: ‘…We will not curtail this lady’s leave. We would not seek to remove the widow of any soldier killed in action, whether they are a Gurkha, a foreign or a Commonwealth soldier… A soldier’s spouse or dependants would almost certainly be granted settlement after applying for leave to stay in the UK…’

The statement still leaves a question as to settlement and is not an acceptable position.

Yesterday Wotton Bassett saw the homecoming of four soldiers who died that day, including Corporal Pun, marking the sacrifice made by these men, yet hypocritically at the same time, obfuscating on whether his family had any right to be here.

Corporal Pun Kumar served all over the world, including tours of duty in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Oman, Kenya, Kosovo and the Falklands. Most of  the past decade has been based around living in Britain.

In 1999, Corporal Pun married his wife, he had been serving in the Gurkhas for 3 years, but she wasn’t granted leave to live in this country until 2006, 7 years after they married, when their eldest daughter was three.

It transpires that this is sadly not the end to the appalling way Gurkhas are treated.

In 2007 Gurkhas were given the right to leave their own pension scheme and switch to the regular Army scheme, which provides a widow with a lump sum payout in the event of her husband being killed, it is not known whether Gurkha Corporal Kumar Pun had transferred to the new scheme, so his widow may receive nothing.

Because Corporal Pun only served for 13 years, there is no entitlement to war widow’s pension; they are required to serve 15 years for this entitlement.

It would be better if Britain omitted the word Great, from its self congratulatory name.

There is nothing to be pounding a chest about; service personnel and the families of non-British Nationals who fight for this Country, are treated in a morally reprehensible manner.

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