Kathmandu, May 1 (IANS) Nepal’s Army chief said on Friday that the Indian Army made one flight into Nepal’s northern region bordering China due to a misunderstanding of Nepal’s geography.
Addressing his first press conference after the devastating earthquake at Nepal Army headquarters, Gen. Gaurav Sumsher Rana said, “Yes, I admit that one Indian flight was made to the northern border but that was only due to misunderstanding of Nepal’s geography. But it was only in the spirit of helping (quake-affetced people).”
The army chief’s reaction came amid media reports that criticised the Indian Army for focusing on making flights to the Nepal-China border which the Himalayan nation considers as sensitive zone.
Thed Indian Army team has been making flights to China border without seeking prior approval from Nepali authorities and Nepal Army was not happy with the Indian attitude, said a report published in Nepal’s Kantipur Daily on Friday.
Gen. Rana faced tough questions from journalist as to why were the Indians repeatedly violating the norms.
“One should not think that international military assistance in such situation would undermine the national security,” Gen. Rana said, adding that “we know how the Indian, Chinese and Nepali military assistance should be channelised at this juncture”.
He expressed his dissatisfaction over the delay in arrival of foreign assistance in Nepal immediately after the quake.
“The international community should have addressed the situation immediately within 30 hours after the earthquake struck, but that did not happen in Nepal. The way the international community should address the situation, it did not happen in that way,” he said. “Had the assistance come on time, we would have been able to address the situation.”
He said that international aid has not reached the affected people. Huge aid pouring in from international community has been accumulating at Tribhuvan International Airport but aid agencies are not effectively distributing them to the victims.
During the press conference, the army made a presentation that showed that the toll could reach as high as 10,000 with teams from 29 nations engaged in rescue operations. The army said that around five million people were affected by the earthquake.