The continuing feud between the chief of the Nepal Army and the ruling Maoist party has forced Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda to call off his visit to China next month.
Prachanda, who was scheduled to tour Lhasa, Beijing and Shanghai from May 2, postponed the visit after his party's decision to sack Nepal Army Chief General Rookmangud Katawal triggered sharp differences among the country's major political parties, including the Maoist government's own allies.
The new crisis erupted after Katawal angered the Maoist government by openly defying its order to halt recruitment. The strained ties between the former guerrillas and the army chief worsened after the army refused to retire eight brigadier-generals and went to court for their reinstatement. The final straw came this month when the army walked out of the National Games following the participation of the Maoists' People's Liberation Army (PLA).