Pakistan denied allegations that it had sent 'beef masala' packages as part of its food aid to the survivors of the Nepal earthquake, raising anger in the Hindu country, where beef is not consumed.
Indian doctors who have travelled to Nepal to treat survivors at a Kathmandu hospital had told Mail Today that food packets from Pakistan contained beef.
"When we reached the airport to collect the food items from Pakistan, we found packets of ready-to-eat meals, including packets of 'beef masala'," one of the doctors, Balwinder Singh, told the newspaper.
"Most of the local people are not aware of the contents. When they understand, they avoid it," another doctor said.
According to the report, the beef masala packets were packaged in Nowshera Cantt in Pakistan, according to details on the package, which also reportedly mentions the ingredients.
Nepal may raise the issue with Pakistan.
"The matter has been conveyed to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and the intelligence chief. We are also starting an internal inquiry to verify the facts. If the report is correct, we will raise the matter at the diplomatic level with Pakistan. India, being our key partner, will also be informed of the developments," a government official reportedly said.
Pakistan's foreign office on Thursday dismissed the report, stating that it had not sent any beef packages to Nepal.
Foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam called on Indian media to 'not malign' Pakistan's humanitarian assistance, according to The Express Tribune, and also added that people in Nepal had asked for more food from Pakistan as they 'liked' it.
The report instantly became a talking point on social media, with #Beef becoming one of the top trends on Twitter in India.
While some Twitterati condemned Pakistan for the act, other posts said the packages may have 'been accidental'.