India ‘clarifies’ Army chief’s remarks on Maoist integration in Nepal Army | world | Hindustan Times
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India ‘clarifies’ Army chief’s remarks on Maoist integration in Nepal Army

world Updated: Jan 04, 2010 19:46 IST
Utpal Parashar

The Indian Embassy in Nepal on Monday ‘clarified’ that the remarks made by Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor regarding integration of former Maoist rebels in Nepal Army didn’t reflect the Indian government’s position on the issue.

In a release that attempted to calm the political storm caused by the remarks, the embassy stated that media reports attributing certain remarks to Kapoor on the issue “are highly distorted”.

“It is therefore regrettable that certain political parties are deliberately exploiting these distortions to generate a controversy involving India,” the release stated.

The Indian reaction comes 12 days after Nepal’s opposition Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda accused India of interfering in the Himalayan nation’s internal affairs by citing Kapoor’s remarks that appeared in a section of newspapers here.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman’s outburst followed a report in the *Kathmandu Post*, which stated that Kapoor was opposed to mass integration of the former rebels of Peoples’ Liberation Army into the Nepal Army.

The report stated that he had made the remarks at a dinner hosted by Nepal’s new army chief General Chattraman Singh Gurung during his India visit last month.

Taking umbrage at the comments, Prachanda had also attacked the ruling coalition government in Nepal for remaining mum on the issue and also sought clarification from New Delhi on the matter.

Following signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006 after the civil war, nearly 19000 former Maoist guerrillas at staying in UN-monitored barracks. As per provisions of CPA, they are to be gradually integrated into the Nepal Army.

But the process has not yet started. In May last year, the UCPN (M)-led government stepped down after the President overruled its decision to remove the army chief for his alleged lack of interest in starting the integration process.