New Delhi: Amidst the ongoing tension between India and China, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Monday objected to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s use of the term “pitai (beating)” in reference to fighting between Indian and Chinese troops in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh in Parliament and said that the word “pitai” should not be used for our jawans.
“We’ve no problem with political criticism but we should not disrespect our jawans. I have heard that my own understanding needs to be deepened. When I see who is giving the advice I can only bow & respect. The word ‘pitai’ should not be used for our jawans,” said Jaishankar, reported news agency ANI.
We’ve no problem with political criticism but we should not disrespect our jawans. I have heard that my own understanding needs to be deepened. When I see who is giving the advice I can only bow & respect. The word ‘pitai’ should not be used for our jawans: EAM Dr S Jaishankar
— ANI (@ANI)
“We should not criticise our jawans directly or indirectly. Our soldiers are standing at a height of 13,000 feet in Yangtse and guarding our border. They should be respected and appreciated,” the minister said.
“If we were indifferent to China then who sent the Indian Army to the border. If we were indifferent to China then why are we pressurising China for de-escalation and disengagement today? Why are we saying publicly that our relations are not normal?” he added.
The BJP launched a fierce attack shortly after Gandhi made remarks in Jaipur during his pan-India foot march, the Bharat Jodo Yatra, in which he accused the government of downplaying the threat posed by China by stating that Beijing was preparing for war but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration was “sleeping.”
The BJP took issue with Gandhi’s statement that Chinese soldiers are beating Indian Army personnel in Arunachal Pradesh. Leaders of the BJP demanded that Congress remove him from the party right away.
“China has taken our land. They are beating out soldiers. The threat of China Is clear. And the government is hiding it, ignoring it. China is preparing for an offensive in Ladakh and Arunachal. And the government of India is sleeping,” Gandhi had said, further attacking S Jaishankar, saying his statements showed he needed to expand his knowledge of China.