Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Ishwor Pokhrel Photograph:( Twitter )
India's Army General Mukund Naravane had called Nepal's protest against India as "political stunt".
Nepal's defence minister Ishwar Pokhrel has said that Indian Army Chief's remarks on the raising border dispute between India and Nepal have "hurt" the sentiments of Gurkha regiment who have laid down their lives to protect India.
Nepal had staged a protest against India for opening a new road to Lipulekh that was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. India rejected the protest by saying that the road was within the Indian territory, to which Nepal responded by publishing a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadura, which fall within India, as part of Nepalese territory.
During an interview with Nepal's news agency, Pokhrel said: “No matter what background and circumstance is it based on, such statements are an effort to offend sovereign and independent Nepal and prideful Nepalis… With this, the Indian CoAS [chief of army staff] has also hurt the sentiments of the Nepali Gurkha army personnel who lay down their lives to protect India. It must now become difficult for them to stand tall in front of the Gurkha forces…The statement by the Indian CoAS seems to be a political stunt.”
He added, “How professional is it for the head of the army to make a political statement? We don’t have anything like that here. Nepali Army does not go vocal on such matter. The army is not there to speak. Nepali Army is a fully professional military force. It would play its role in the right time, as per the directives of the government based on our Constitution.”
Pokhrel is also the deputy prime minister of the country called India a "friendly country" and urged that “lost Nepali territory must be returned through peaceful political dialogue and diplomatic channel, and I am confident that it is possible”.
India has not responded to Pokhrel's remarks.