Disinformation can't replace diplomacy: Manmohan tells Modi about China

Manmohan Singh urged the prime minister to ensure justice for Col Santosh Babu.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be mindful of the implication of his words and not allow China to misuse them, said former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, referring to the military clash between the two countries in Ladakh. 

"We stand at historic crossroads, our government's decisions and action will have serious bearings on how the future generations perceive us. Those who lead us bear the weight of solemn responsibility. In our democracy that responsibility rests with the office of the Prime Minister," Manmohan said in a statement. 

"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 Singh, referring the controversy over Modi's comments at an all-party meeting on Friday.  

He added that China is brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as the Galwan valley and Pangong Tso Lake by committing multiple incursions. " 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," the former PM said. 

“The Army has been given the freedom to take necessary steps. India has also conveyed its position clearly to China through diplomatic means,” said Narendra Modi

He urged the prime minister to ensure justice for Col Santosh Babu, who was killed in the violent faceoff with the Chinese in the Galwan valley and said, "to do any less will be a historic betrayal of the people's faith." 

The statement comes a day after Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the PM saying "Narendra Modi is actually Surender Modi". Gandhi's dig at the prime minister came in a tweet wherein he tagged an article in a foreign publication with the headline "India's appeasement policy toward China unravels".

"Narendra Modi is actually Surender Modi," he tweeted.

The Congress leader on Saturday accused Modi of having "surrendered" Indian territory to Chinese aggression, after his remark that neither is anyone inside India's territory nor has anyone captured its posts, made at an all-party meeting. 

Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in a brutal attack by the Chinese military in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel