A day after Congress President Rahul Gandhi blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) policies for bringing China and Pakistan closer, the United States (US) State Department spokesperson Ned Price, when asked about the claim, stated that he “won’t endorse” those remarks.
Price added, “I'll leave it to Pakistanis and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to speak to their relationship.”
Gandhi, while addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, 2 February, had accused the central government of having brought Pakistan and China together, triggering remarks by Union ministers, who slammed Gandhi over the claim.
The Congress leader had said:
"The single biggest strategic goal of India's foreign policy has been to keep Pakistan and China separate. What you have done is, you have brought them together…And this is the single biggest crime you can commit against the people of India.”
He further pointed out, "I can see clearly that China has a plan...It is very clear that the Chinese and the Pakistanis are planning. Look at the weapons they are buying, look at who they are talking to..."
Later, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a tweet that some “history lessons” were needed and listing examples of neighbouring countries dealings in the past, asked Gandhi if they had ever been distant.
Jaishankar said in his tweet, “Rahul Gandhi alleged in Lok Sabha that it is this Government which brought Pakistan and China together. Perhaps, some history lessons are in order. In 1963, Pakistan illegally handed over the Shaksgam valley to China. China built the Karakoram highway through PoK in the 1970s. From the 1970s, the two countries also had close nuclear collaboration. In 2013, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor started. So, ask yourself: were China and Pakistan distant then?”
‘Two Indias: One of the Rich, One of the Poor’: Rahul Gandhi
Gandhi, in his speech, had also lamented the Presidential Address from the previous day, stating that it laid bare the idea of 'two Indias': one of the rich and the privileged, and one of the poor, and highlighted the absence of any mention of unemployment in the address.
The congress MP had further referred to the Republic Day celebrations and underlined the absence of a foreign dignitary saying, "Ask yourselves why you are not able to get a guest on Republic Day. Today India is completely isolated and surrounded....Our opponents understand our position."