New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar on Thursday retorted to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s questions on soldiers being unarmed during Indo-China face-off in Galwan valley, with a bit of comprehension and strategic reasoning.

External Affairs Minister explained that the soldiers were not unarmed during the face-off, but during these situations soldiers are not supposed to use the firearms.

“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,” Jaishankar tweeted on the worst clash between India and China in nearly five decades. “Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs,” added the Minister. 

The series of bilateral agreements which S Jaishankar referred to, was first signed under Prime Minister Devegowda in 1996 and then by Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA-I in 2005.

The sharp response from the Minister came after Rahul Gandhi questioned the government and said "How dare China kill our UNARMED soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent UNARMED to martyrdom?", in a tweet.

He also posted an interview by Lt Gen (retired) HS Panag to a major newspaper, in which, Lt Gen Panag alleged that the troops would not have gone unarmed without a clear order. “That means the troops would have been given specific orders,” the retired army officer had said.

 

The strategic commitments between India and China as per the military consensus built along the LAC since 1996 onwards, bars both the countries to use the firearms in the situation of a confrontation. India played its part with utmost honesty, however, Chinese committed a conceited attempt to attack the Indian soldiers using the rods and sticks coiled with nails and nailed wires during the face-off in Galwan valley on 15th June.

In the violent clash, India’s 20 soldiers including a Colonel recorded the supreme sacrifices in the service of the nation during the fierce clash between the two armies in Galwan Valley on Monday night. The Chinese side reportedly suffered 43 casualties in total, however, there has been no official confirmation on the same.

Posted By: Talib Khan