Congress says it disagrees with Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks on Pakistan

In the video, Aiyar said India should give respect to Pakistan as it is a sovereign nation and engage with it as it possesses an atom bomb.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 10, 2024 | 5:38 PMUpdatedMay 10, 2024 | 5:38 PM

Mani Shankar Aiyer.

The Congress on Friday, 10 May, dissociated itself from party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks on Pakistan, saying the BJP has revived them in its attempt to deflect attention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s daily “goof ups”.

Aiyar does not speak for the party in any capacity whatsoever, Congress media department chairperson Pawan Khera said on X.

Disagreeing totally with the remarks made by Aiyar some months ago, Khera said it is an old video.

Also Read: After ‘racist’ remark row, Sam Pitroda quits as Congress office bearer

The remarks

In the video, Aiyar is heard saying that India should give respect to Pakistan as it is a sovereign nation and engage with it as it also possesses an atom bomb.

He indicated in the video that if a “mad person” comes to power there and uses the atom bomb, it will not be good and will have its effect here too.

Uploading a video of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Khera said, “If old videos are to be used, here is a not-so-old video where the External Affairs Minister is publicly advising India to be afraid of China.”

Khera said the Congress and the entire nation recalls with pride that in December 1971 Pakistan was broken and an independent Bangladesh emerged thanks to Indira Gandhi’s decisive and determined leadership and the valour of our armed forces.

“Almost exactly 50 years ago on 18 May, 1974 under the leadership of Indiraji, India’s nuclear capability was announced to the world. The Indian National Congress has always believed that our decision-making should be guided by supreme national interest,” he added.

The case of Sam Pitroda

Techie and entrepreneur-turned-politician Sam Pitroda on Wednesday, 8 May, stepped down as the head of the overseas unit of Congress.

The move followed the controversies that his recent remarks on several topics sparked across the country.

His most recent remark — on the appearances of people in different parts of India — was deemed insensitive and racist.

The remarks came during Pitroda’s exclusive interview with a reputed daily. In it, he was looking to assert the ethnic diversity in India.

He said it was a country “where people on East look like Chinese, people on West look like Arab, people on North look like maybe White, and people in South look like Africa”.

Congress was quick to distance itself from the comparisons. Jairam Ramesh said in a video on X: “The analogies given by Sam Pitroda to India’s diversity are extremely wrong and unacceptable.”

He added: “The Indian National Congress completely disassociates itself from these analogies.”

(With PTI inputs)