As the Bharatiya Janata Party and the central government up the ante against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over the latter’s constant attacks over the Indo-China border situation, Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar has now taken the war of words to Twitter by asking him to “get his facts right.”
Gandhi on Thursday, 18 June retweeted an interview by Hindustan Times’ National and Political Editor Sunetra Choudhary with Lt Gen (Retd) HS Panag on the Indo-China clashes and asked, “How dare China kill our UNARMED soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent UNARMED to martyrdom?”
Let us get the facts straight.
All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs. https://t.co/VrAq0LmADp
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) June 18, 2020
In a reply to Gandhi, Jaishankar said, “Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs.”
According to the 1996 Sino-China Agreement, in case of a conflict or a stand-off at the border, “neither side shall open fire or conduct blast operations within 2 km of the Line of Actual Control”, The Economic Times reported.
The agreement also clarified that “if the border personnel of the two sides come in a face-to-face situation due to differences on the alignment of the line of actual control or any other reason, they shall exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation,” as reported by ET.
According to the 2005 agreement between the two nations for the ‘Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question,’ “the two sides will resolve the boundary question through peaceful and friendly consultations.”
“Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means. The final solution of the boundary question will significantly promote good neighbourly and friendly relations between India and China,” said the 2005 the agreement as stated on the MEA website.
Earlier on Thursday, Gandhi trained guns at the Narendra Modi government questioning who sent the soldiers unarmed and also asked who was responsible for their deaths. China has committed a “big mistake” by killing the unarmed Indian soldiers, Gandhi said.
“By killing the unarmed soldiers of India, China has committed a big mistake. I want to ask who sent them unarmed towards the danger and why, who is responsible?” Rahul Gandhi said in a video message.
The attack by the Congress leader continued for the second consecutive day.
On Wednesday he questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the killing of Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley. Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, "Why is the Prime Minister silent? Why is he hiding? Enough is enough. We need to know what has happened. How dare China kill our soldiers? How dare they take our land?"
Later in the day, he also took a jibe at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for taking two days to condole the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including an officer, in Ladakh's Galwan Valley.
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