When Panda huggers try to be China hawks, It Doesn't Fly: S Jaishankar's sharp counter to Rahul Gandhi
- In Reports
- 09:02 PM, Mar 18, 2023
- Myind Staff
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took a dig at senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who recently commented that the minister “does not understand" the threat that China poses to India. While speaking at an India Today Conclave in New Delhi, EAM commented “when Panda huggers try to be China hawks... it doesn't fly".
Rahul Gandhi, speaking to the Indian Journalists' Association in London, expressed concern about the Indian government's response to China's military aggression on the Line of Actual Control. He criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that “nobody has entered Indian territory" and said it was an invitation for China to repeat its aggression. Gandhi added that the government did not understand the actual threat from China, and the prime minister's statement demonstrated his lack of comprehension of the threat. He suggested that India needed to respond militarily to the nature of the threat.
Jaishankar referred to Gandhi's remarks as troubling and criticized the opposition leader for being dismissive about India while seemingly praising China. "I am troubled as a citizen of India when I see somebody drooling over China and being dismissive about India," Jaishankar said when asked about his thoughts on Rahul Gandhi's recent address made in the United Kingdom.
"He speaks admiringly about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He compares, very poetically, I must say, the BRI with the Yellow River in China gushing forward. The BRI goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. It violates our national integrity and sovereignty. He doesn't have a word to say about it," a visibly upset Jaishankar said.
"Why is somebody undermining national morale like this?" Jaishankar asked, noting that the Congress leader's one-word description of China at the talk organized by Cambridge University was "harmony" while for India it was "discord."
Speaking at the conclave, Jaishankar asserted that India's relationship with China can only return to normalcy after resolving all outstanding issues at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
He acknowledged that the bilateral ties between the countries are currently in a "challenging and abnormal phase" due to heightened tensions at the Himalayan border and along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh.
While both nations have made significant progress in disengagement and are discussing scaling down troop build-up at other friction points, Jaishankar warned that the situation remains "fragile" and "dangerous" as per military assessment.
"The situation, to my mind, remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close, and in military assessment, actually quite dangerous," the minister told the gathering.
Image source: PTI