PM ‘must be mindful of implications of his words’, says ex-PM Manmohan Singh on Galwan Valley clash

Amid the rising tensions between India and China on border issues, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday (June 22) said that PM “must be mindful of implications of his words and declarations” on the security of the country.

Dr Singh also sought justice for martyred Colonel Santosh Babu, who was killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in East Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15, and demanded that the Centre must not be cowed down by “threats and intimidation” in dealing with the neighbour nor permitting “compromise with our territorial integrity”.

“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,” the former prime minister said in a statement.

He added, “China is brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Tso Lake by committing multiple incursions between April 2020 till date. 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.”

“Disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership. The truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements. We call upon the Prime Minister and the Government to rise to the occasion, to ensure justice for Col. B. Santosh Babu and our jawans who have made the ultimate sacrifice and resolutely defended our territorial integrity. To do any less would be a historic betrayal of the people’s faith,” noted Dr Singh.

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