China making model village on land captured during Nehru's reign: S Jaishankar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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China making model village on land captured during Nehru's reign: S Jaishankar

May 17, 2024 03:29 PM IST

S Jaishankar said Rahul Gandhi doesn't attack China's Belt and Road Initiative(BRI), which violates India's sovereignty.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar, in a candid interview with Hindustan Times, accused India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, of losing the country's territory to Chinese aggression.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar (Hindustan Times)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar (Hindustan Times)

Asked about the Opposition's allegations that China has been building a model village near Arunachal Pradesh and nibbling away territory in east Ladakh, S Jaishankar said the area where the village is being built was captured by China in the late 1950s, when Nehru was the prime minister.

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"Model village – are the Chinese building these model villages? Yes. The village which became the subject of controversy is in a place called Longju. If you check the records of the Indian Parliament or you read any book on our border problem with China, the Chinese captured Longju in 1959, then there was a discussion with them. The Chinese came back in 1962; this time they captured it in its entirety and held it. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959 told Parliament, 'I am sorry but it has gone out of my hands'," S Jaishankar told HT's R Sukumar and Shishir Gupta.

"The second example which they cited was a bridge. There is a bridge which is being constructed on the northern side of the Pangong Tso lake. You can look at the coordinates of that bridge, it is close to a place called Khurnak, Khurnak Fort. The Chinese came to Khurnak Fort in 1958 and that particular part of Pangong Tso, that segment, they actually illegally occupied in the 1962 war," he added.

Answering a query on a road being built by the Chinese in the Shaksgam valley, which can potentially threaten India's positions in Siachen, he said it was Nehru who allowed the area to become part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Also read: HT interview: Strengthen Modi’s hands... he’s going to see you through this stormy period, says Jaishankar

"The recent one which came out during the campaign; their spokesperson said under Modi, we are actually now even risking Siachen because a road is built out of Shaksgam valley which has implications for the security of Siachen. Now Shaksgam valley; in 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru allowed it to become part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by accepting a ceasefire and not pressing our attack on Pakistan further. Then in 1963, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the foreign minister made an agreement with the Chinese and handed over 5,180 sq km of that territory to the Chinese. Nehru let it happen, Bhutto handed it over to the Chinese and now you are saying Modi has culpability," S Jaishankar added.

S Jaishankar said that Rahul Gandhi doesn't attack China's Belt and Road Initiative(BRI), which violates India's sovereignty.

"The Congress party has actually been practising a very sort of clever doublespeak. On the one hand, Rahul Gandhi will actually meet the Chinese ambassador secretly while Doklam is going on. On the other hand, they claim to be a great nationalist outside. Please read Rahul Gandhi’s speeches on China, because he has a sense he knows a lot, and maybe he does. He doesn’t attack the Belt & Road [Initiative]. Belt & Road violates our sovereignty but the Congress party is very, very cautious about it. You can actually sense his admiration for China – you know a great civilization coming back, a great manufacturing power," he added.

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