In the midst of a war of words between Congress and the BJP during the confrontation with China, the head of the NCP, Sharad Pawar, said on Saturday that questions of national security should not be politicized and should not be forget that China captured around 45,000 km2 of Indian land after the 1962 war.
Mr. Pawar’s comments came in response to a question regarding the accusation of Congressman Rahul Gandhi that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ceded Indian territory to Chinese aggression.
The NCP chief also said that the incident in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh could not immediately be called a failure of the Minister of Defense, as Indian soldiers were alert during the patrols.
Speaking to reporters here, the former Union minister said the entire episode was “sensitive” in nature. It was China that played the provocateur in the Galwan Valley, he said.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with their Chinese counterpart in eastern Ladakh on the night of June 15.
The former defense minister also said that India had built a road in the Galwan valley within its boundaries for communication purposes. “What happened was that they (the Chinese troops) tried to
encroach on our road and have been physically pushed. It was not someone’s failure. If someone comes (to your territory) while you are patrolling, they can come at any time. We cannot say that it was the failure of the Defense Minister sitting in Delhi, “said Pawar.
The patrol was there. There was a fight, which means you were alert. If you hadn’t been, you wouldn’t even have realized when they (Chinese troops) came and went.
Therefore, I do not think it is fair to make such an allegation at this stage, “he said.
Responding to the allegation raised by Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Pawar said that it cannot be forgotten that China captured approximately 45,000 km2 of Indian land after the 1962 war between the two countries.
“This land is still with China. I don’t know if they (China) have yet encroached on an area. But when I make an allegation, I should also see what happened when I was there- low (in power). If such large lands were then invaded, we cannot ignore them. It is a matter of national security and it should not be politicized, that is what I feel “, a- he declared.