The Indian Army chief’s comments on the Kalapani dispute had hurt the sentiments of Nepali Gurkhas who have a long tradition of sacrifice for India, Nepal’s Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel said on Monday.
In an interview to online news outlet The Rising Nepal, he said General Manoj Naravane’s indirect reference to Chinese hand behind the diplomatic spat was “condemnable” and the Nepal army would fight if necessary.
“With this, the Indian Chief of the Army Staff has also hurt the sentiments of the Nepali Gurkha army personnel who lay down their lives to protect India. It must now be difficult for them to stand tall in front of the Gurkha forces,” he said.
‘A political stunt’
Mr. Pokhrel termed Gen. Naravane’s comments a “political stunt”. Such opinions were not expected from the head of the Army, he said.
The Gurkhas of Nepal have a proud tradition of valour in the Indian armed forces dating back to pre-Independence era and were usually kept out of India-Nepal disputes.