Masood Azhar row: Arun Jaitley says Nehru was the ‘original sinner’ in securing China a UNSC seat
Jaitley cited the former prime minister’s letter to chief ministers in 1955, in which he pitched for China’s entry into the security council before India.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday responded to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the Narendra Modi-led government for failing to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar listed by the United Nations Security Council as a global terrorist.
Jaitley said that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s great-grandfather, was the “original sinner” as he had let China secure a seat in the council.
China on Wednesday again blocked a move by the UN council to designate Azhar a global terrorist, despite his organisation claiming responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack. In response, Gandhi claimed Modi was “weak” and “scared” of Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Weak Modi is scared of Xi,” he said in a tweet. “Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India.” Gandhi also took a jibe at Modi’s diplomacy with China, which he claimed included sitting with Xi on a swing at Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Ashram in 2014 and hugging the Chinese president.
“The original mistake, both on Kashmir and China, was committed by the same person,” Jaitley tweeted. “Pandit Nehru’s infamous letter to Chief Ministers’ dated August 2, 1955 states ‘Informally, suggestions have been made by the United States that China should be taken into the United Nations but not in the Security Council, and that India should take her place in the Security Council. We cannot, of course, accept this as it means falling out with China and it would be very unfair for a great country like China not to be in the Security Council.”
“Will the Congress President tell us who the original sinner was?” Jaitley added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party also asked Gandhi to read Nehru’s letter, in a tweet. “Insightful read on how Jawaharlal Nehru compromised India’s interest with respect to UNSC,” the party said.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier in the day inquired why the Congress chief felt happy when the entire country was in pain. “Will the Congress speak in a different voice where a cruel killer like Masood Azhar is concerned?” Prasad said at a press conference. “From Rahul Gandhi’s tweet, it appears that he felt very happy. He must be making headlines in Pakistan.” The minister claimed the Modi-led government is “undoing all mistakes” the Nehru-Gandhi family has committed.
The letter has been included in a collection called Letters for a Nation: From Jawaharlal Nehru to His Chief Ministers 1947-1963. In the letter, Nehru also said that India has stated that it is “not anxious to enter the Security Council at this stage, even though as a great country she ought to be there”. “The first step to be taken is for China to take her rightful place and then the question of India might be considered separately,” he added.