Nepal earthquake: Pakistan sends beef masala to feed survivors in the Hindu-majority nation

Cows are sacred to Hindus

Kashmira Gander
Friday 01 May 2015 07:40 BST
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Relief packages sent from Pakistan cannot be used in Nepal because the nation is deeply Hindu
Relief packages sent from Pakistan cannot be used in Nepal because the nation is deeply Hindu

As Nepal attempts to recover from a devastating earthquake which has killed over 5,500 people, Pakistan has made a serious cultural error by sending food containing beef to the deeply Hindu nation.

Aid including food and temporary shelters has been flown from across the world into Nepal, where a magnitude earthquake hit on Saturday. On Tuesday, Pakistan sent Nepal packets of beef masala to help feed survivors.

However, the Hindu nation regards cows as sacred, and has a ban on slaughtering the creatures. The law stems from the idea that cows are sacred animals, to be respected as one would respect their mother.

An unnamed doctor, who is one of a group of 34 sent from India to work at Kathmandu's Bir Hospital, told India’s Mail Today newspaper: "Most of the local people are not aware of the contents. When they understand, they avoid it."

He added: “Pakistan has hurt Nepal's religious sentiments by supplying the masala. Shockingly, it did not care about the sensitivity of the matter.”

Photographs of the packages show they originated from Nowshere Cantt in Pakistan, and contain potato bhujia and beef masala.

Tasneem Aslam, spokesperson for Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs, told Mail Today: "I am not aware of the issue... I am not responsible for the dispatch. The relief aid is sent by the National Disaster Management Authority."

As aftershocks continue to ripple through the earth, the death toll following the earthquake has reached 5,489, according to police.

The figure does not include the 19 people killed at Mount Everest - five foreign climbers and 14 Nepalese Sherpa guides - when the quake caused an avalanche at base camp.

Additional reporting by PA

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