New Delhi: Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie had an unusual gift for two Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots: Rs 1 lakh in sealed envelopes.
The pilots, who flew the visiting minister by special IAF aircraft from Mumbai to Delhi on Monday, were given two sealed envelopes after they landed in New Delhi. When they opened the envelopes, they found Rs 1 lakh in Indian currency.
Astonished by the unusual gift, the pilots informed their commanding officer, who in turn told the air officer commanding about the unusual gift.
Finally, it was decided that the cash gift will be deposited in the 'toshkhana' (government depository) on Thursday, air force sources said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The sources pointed out although it is not Indian convention to accept gifts in cash, it could not be returned due to the sensitivities involved.
General Liang is the first Chinese defence minister to visit India in the last eight years. He held wide-ranging talks with his Indian counterpart AK Antony on Tuesday that culminated in the two sides deciding to resume joint military sources.