External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Monday objected to former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s ‘pitai’ word for Indian troops deployed in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The foreign minister also responded to comments where Gandhi recently said that Jaishankar should deepen his understanding of China.
Targeting the Modi government over China’s attempt to change the status quo in Tawang, Gandhi last week said that the Chinese soldiers had done ‘pitai’ of Indian troops guarding the border along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh.
Today, EAM Jaishankar, while speaking in Parliament, said the government has no problems if there are political differences and even if there is political criticism but ‘pitai’ word should not be used for soldiers.
“Our jawans are standing in Yangtse at 13,000 feet, defending our border, they do not deserve to have the word ‘pitai’. The word ‘pitai’ shouldn’t be used for our jawans,” the EAM added.
Last week, the Defence Ministry informed that the Chinese PLA had tried to change the status quo near the Yangtze in Tawang of Arunachal. Soon after an old video surfaced on social media in which Indian soldiers can be seen pushing back Chinese troops at LAC.
Gandhi, who is on a months-long Bharat Jodi Yatra, said China had taken India’s land and they were thrashing its soldiers but the government was sleeping. “The threat of China is clear and the government is hiding it, ignoring it. China is preparing for a war in Ladakh and Arunachal. And the government of India is sleeping,” he said.
The former Congress chief had also targeted EAM Jaishankar. “We should understand what is happening. The External Affairs Minister keeps giving statements, but he should deepen his understanding,” he had said.
Jaishankar, who is a career diplomat, today responded to this saying he has heard sometimes that his own understanding needs to be deepened. “When I see who is giving the advice, I can only bow and respect, but I think we shouldn’t directly or indirectly criticise our jawans,” he said.
Before joining politics and becoming foreign minister, Jaishankar served as foreign secretary from January 2015 to 28 January 2018. He has also served as India’s ambassador to the US and China.
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