Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cautioned 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.
Dr. Singh, on Monday spoke for the first time on the India-China face-off in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, “Disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership. And the truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements”.
He released a statement today in which he urged all organs of the government to work together to prevent the situation from further escalating.
Dr. Singh said that the Modi government must ensure that justice is served 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.
Though Dr. Singh did not directly attack any specific comment by Mr. Modi, his reference was to the Prime Minister’s statement at the June 19 all-party meeting where he had said “none was inside Indian territory and no post was occupied by anyone”.
“At this moment, we stand at historic cross-roads. 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,” Dr. Singh said.
The former Prime Minister accused China of “brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as the Galwan Valley and the 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 said.