India-China Ladakh Faceoff | PM Modi Must Be Mindful Of Implications Of His Words: Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh, a former prime minister of India, speaks during an event in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

India-China Ladakh Faceoff | PM Modi Must Be Mindful Of Implications Of His Words: Manmohan Singh

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In his first remarks on the India-China Ladakh faceoff, Congress leader Manmohan Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be mindful of the implications of his words and cannot allow China to use them as a vindication of its position.

Noting that disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership, Singh called upon the prime minister to ensure justice for soldiers who died defending India's territorial integrity.

"To do any less would be a historic betrayal of people's faith," the former prime minister said in a statement. Singh said this is a moment where we must stand together as a nation and be united in our response to this brazen threat.

The Congress has been attacking the government on Modi's remarks at an all-party meeting that no one has entered Indian territory or captured any military post while referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff.

The government has, however, said that attempts are being made at a "mischievous interpretation" of the prime minister's remarks.

Twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in the violent faceoff with Chinese troops on the night of June 15-16 in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley.

Noting that India is standing at the historic crossroads, Singh said the government's decisions and actions will have serious bearings on how 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," he said. "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 Congress leader said China is "brazenly and illegally" seeking to claim parts of Indian territory—such as the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Tso—by committing multiple incursions from 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.

"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," Singh said.

Singh also said that the sacrifice of soldiers cannot be allowed to go in vain.

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