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"There was a time when PM talked about China first": EAM Jaishankar invokes Nehru in dig at Cong

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) | April 3, 2024 11:58:36 AM IST
During deliberations with his then-deputy Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel over a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to make sure China got a place in the forum ahead of India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

Jaishankar made the remarks during an address at the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ahmedabad, revealing how Sardar Patel warned PM Nehru of a threat from China.

However, the latter played down his concerns and, instead, advocated a permanent seat at the UNSC for China, the EAM said.

"In 1950, there was an exchange of views between Sardar Patel and (Jawaharlal) Nehru... Sardar Patel had warned Jawaharlal Nehru about China. Sardar Patel said that today, we are facing a situation of two fronts (Pakistan and China) which for India has never happened in our history before. He also said that whatever the Chinese are saying, he feels that their intent is not good and therefore let us take precautions, let us build a policy around this. Nehru's position was...he was completely dissenting," Jaishankar said.

"He told Patel 'you are unnecessarily suspicious of the Chinese. Also, it is impossible for anybody to attack us across the Himalayas. A few years later, there was a debate about the UN, should India be given a UN seat at that time? So Nehru's position at that time was he said, 'we deserve a seat, but first we must ensure China gets a seat'. So today we are talking of India first. There was a time when the PM of India talked about China first," the External Affairs Minister added.

He also weighed in on Sardar Patel's position of not taking the Kashmir issue to the United Nations, saying that the Centre, over the last decade, has been dealing with "many issues inherited from the past".

"Even in the case of Pakistan, I think people know that Sardar Patel was opposed to our going to the United Nations because he knew the mentality of a judge there. So which coup will go to that point? It was like a common sense view he had. But yet we went and you know, once we went there, pressure was put a stop to the military exercise," Jaishankar said.

"Today, when we talk about our boundaries, our territories, some say rewrite our boundaries. Our boundaries are still our boundaries. We should never ever doubt that. But our problem today is what happened in the past. In the last ten years, the Union government has tried to deal with many issues inherited from the past, it has been successful in finding solutions to some of them while some issues will take more time," the EAM added.

India decided to take the Kashmir issue to the UN on January 1, 1948, raising a point of contention at the world body over Pakistani infiltrators occupying parts of Jammu and Kashmir that had legally acceded to India, and demanding that they be asked to leave. (ANI)

 
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