Kathmandu | A diplomatic row, brewed as Pakistan sent packets of ‘beef masala’ as part of the relief package for the April 25 quake victims.
The majority-Hindu country treats cows as sacred and there is a blanket ban on slaughtering the animal. Indian doctors at Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital said that packets of ‘beef masala’ were sent by Pakistan on Tuesday as part of relief aid to the temblor survivors.
These doctors – drawn from Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) – are members of a 34-member medical team sent to Nepal for treating the survivors.
When we reached the airport to collect the food items from Pakistan, we found packets of ready-to-eat meals, including packets of ‘beef masala’. There were other food items too, media reports quoted an Indian media as saying.
The doctors chose to have food from a hotel and did not touch the Pakistani aid. Most of the local people are not aware of the contents. When they understand, they avoid it, said another doctor on the condition of anonymity. He added: Pakistan has hurt Nepal’s religious sentiments by supplying the masala. Shockingly, it did not care about the sensitivity of the matter.
The reports said that the place of origin of the food packets was Nowshera Cantt in Pakistan. These packets also prominently mention that these are not for sale and the contents include ‘potato bhujia’ and ‘beef masala’.
A top Nepal government official said the matter has been conveyed to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and the intelligence chief.” We are also starting an internal inquiry to verify the facts. If the report is correct, we will raise the matter at the diplomatic level with Pakistan. India, being our key partner, will also be informed of the developments.
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