Ladakh face-off: Manmohan Singh asks PM Modi to be mindful of implications of his statements on national security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessor Manmohan Singh during an event in New Delhi. File photo   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be ‘mindful’ of the implications his statements will have on national security and not allow them to vindicate Chinese position.

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Speaking for the first time on the India-China face-off in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, Dr. Singh said, “Disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership. And the truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements”.

In a statement, he urged all organs of the government to work together to prevent the situation from further escalating.

Dr. Singh lauded the efforts of the Indian Army and the soldiers who lost their lives. The government must ensure justice for Col. Santosh Babu and the jawans who sacrificed their lives protecting the borders. “To do any less would be a historic betrayal of the people’s faith,” he said.

Also read: China’s PLA meticulously planned attack in Galwan, says senior government official

Though Dr. Singh did not mention any specific comment by Mr. Modi, his reference was to the Prime Minister’s statement at the June 19 all-party meeting of “none was inside Indian territory and no post was occupied by anyone”.

Hours after the all-party meeting, China issued a statement laying claim to the entire Galwan Valley, something India rejects outright.

Watch | Galwan clash: what next for India and China?

Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s Office clarified that Mr. Modi had specifically talked about the area where Chinese and Indian troops clashed and how, because of the brave act of the Army, the Chinese attempt was foiled.

Referring to the clashes in Galwan Valley, Dr. Singh said the government should not allow the supreme sacrifice of the 20 soldiers to go in vain.

‘Historic crossroads’

“At this moment, we stand at historic crossroads. Our government’s decisions and actions will have serious bearings on how the future generations perceive us. Those who lead us bear the weight of a solemn duty. And in our democracy that responsibility rests with the office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must always be mindful of the implications of his words and declarations on our Nation’s security as also strategic and territorial interests,” he stated.

Also read: Ladakh face-off | Chinese media lauds Modi’s speech

Dr. Singh accused China of “brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso lake” and committing multiple incursions between April and now.

“We cannot and will not be cowed down by threats and intimidation nor permit a compromise with our territorial integrity. The Prime Minister cannot allow them to use his words as a vindication of their position and must ensure that all organs of the government work together to tackle this crisis and prevent it from escalating further.”

Right now, India “must stand together as a nation and be united in our response to this brazen threat”, he added.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 1:08:44 PM |

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