KATHMANDU: Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal on Tuesday submitted his clarification in writing to the Prime Minister’s Office and Council of Ministers.
He claimed that the Nepali Army (NA) always respected supremacy of the people.
A source at the Army Headquarters claimed that General Katawal had not defied the government’s order and was fully prepared to implement the latter’s decision. He has spelt out the NA’s stand on all the three issues for which clarification was sought.
Meanwhile, the cabinet meeting that was supposed to decide the fate of the CoAS on Tuesday has been postponed till Wesnesday.
It is learnt that the PM put it off following domestic and international pressure on the government, urging it not to show the CoAS the door. General Katawal, too, was locked in consultation with army officials for a good two hours
this afternoon.
“We discussed the future strategy if the government sacks our boss,” claimed a source in NA.
The Maoists also held an informal secretariat meeting this evening. The party has reportedly given its nod to the government to sack the CoAS. Maoist secretariat member Barsa Man Pun, however, was not explicit on the party’s stand. He only hinting that General Katawal’s days were numbered.
“The government should consider the civilian authority. We will also hold consultations with other parties as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, Finance Minster Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai held a meeting with Madav Kumar Nepal, former general secretary, CPN-UML, later this evening. Though the minister requested Nepal to support the government’s move, the latter urged consensus on the issue.