Galwan clash: PM must be mindful of his words, says Manmohan Singh

The Congress questioned the statement and questioned whether Modi meant Indian territory had been ceded to China. The PMO warned everyone not to derive a "mischievous interpretation" of PM Modi's remark.
Without charging Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly, former PM Manmohan Singh said Modi must “always be mindful of the implications of his words.”

“At this moment, we stand at historic crossroads. Our government's decisions and actions will have serious bearing on how future generations perceive us. Those who lead us bear the weight of a solemn duty. 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," Singh said, in his first reaction after the India-China clash at Galwan Valley in which 20 soldiers lost their lives.

On Friday, Modi had said, at an all-party meeting: “Neither is anyone inside our territory nor are any of our posts captured.”

The Congress questioned the statement and questioned whether Modi meant Indian territory had been ceded to China. The PMO warned everyone not to derive a "mischievous interpretation" of PM Modi's remark.


"The prime minister's observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces. The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day," the government said.


Singh said China was brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Tso by committing multiple incursions since April.  "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,” he said.


“This is a moment where we must stand together as a nation and be united in our response to this brazen threat. We remind the government that disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership. The truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements," said the two-term prime minister, appearing to refer to the political leaders who praised PM Modi's stand at the all-party meeting.  

In a sharp response to the comments, BJP President J P Nadda called the former PM's statement “mere wordplay” and added: "One only wishes that Dr Singh was as worried about Chinese designs when, as PM, he abjectly surrendered hundreds of square kilometres of India's land to China. He presided over 600 incursions made by China between 2010 and 2013!”



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