KOLHAPUR: NCP chief and former defence minister
on Saturday said the Galwan Valley incident should not be politicised as it is a matter of national security and added that one could not forget that China had captured about 45,000 sq km of Indian territory after the 1962 war, a remark aimed at former
chief Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government on the China issue.
The remarks of Pawar, Congress’ coalition partner in
, came while responding to a query from reporters in Satara on Gandhi’s consistent criticism of the Modi government over the face-off in Ladakh, and marked a repudiation of the latter’s stand on the border conflict with China.
“I am not aware whether China is occupying any (part) of our area now, but it still continues to hold 45,000 sq km of Indian land (from 1962). Those who are making allegations today should take into account what happened when they were in office (in 1962),” he said in a reference to China’s capture of
under the Congress government led by first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru.
The NCP chief said the close-quarters fight that broke out in Galwan Valley only indicates that the Indian Army was vigilant, otherwise nobody would have come to know that they (the Chinese) had come and gone. Describing the situation as “sensitive”, the ex-Union minister said China certainly is at fault but added that he did not see any possibility of war. “India is constructing a road in Galwan Valley in our own territory,” he said.