Kathmandu, Oct 24 : The Nepali Congress (NC) has claimed that the Maoists are trying to promote a former People's Liberation Army (PLA) commander to the coveted post of Chief of Nepal Army (NA).
Nepali Congress leader Shovakar Parajuli on Thursday said that the Maoists are covertly engaged in promoting Nanda Kishore Pun as the next Army chief.
The Maoists designated Pun as a chief of PLA, after Prime Minister Prachanda relinquished the position of supreme commander of the Maoist army when he became Prime Minister in August.
"Maoists are planning to send Pun to China where he will receive a nine-month defence course. This is a part of the Maoist covert strategy to prove that Pun meets internationally-accepted standards to hold the post of chief of the National Army," Parajuli said.
"Earlier, the Nepali Army used to send a senior Army official to China for the defence course. But, this time the Ministry of Defence has created four seats - two for the Nepali Army and two for the civilians," he said.
"This was all planned during Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa's visit to China last month," he added.
Senior Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said unification of the Nepal Army and the Maoist army was not possible.
He opposed the idea of integrating politically-indoctrinated Maoist combatants into the Army in a group. The past agreements mean that only those who meet security force standards could vie for integration, he said.
He also accused the Maoists for interfering in the National Army and trying to guide the press, civil society and the education system, Kantipur reported.