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Manmohan Singh’s suggestions to PM Modi amid India-China standoff

Amid the ongoing India-China border dispute, former PM and senior Congress leader Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday released a statement taking a sharp dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Responding to PM Modi’s remarks at an all-party meeting on Friday that ‘no outsider entered the Indian territory’, Dr Manmohan Singh suggested his successor to be “mindful of the implication of his words and declarations on India’s security along with strategic and territorial interests”.

“The Prime Minister cannot allow them(China) 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.

The Congress MP went on to remind the Centre that “disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership”, adding that the Modi government’s decisions and actions will have a ‘serious bearing on how the future generations perceive the administration’.

“The truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements,” Dr Singh said in his statement.

Expressing grief over the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley at the hands of the Chinese army, the former PM stated that their “sacrifice cannot be allowed to be in vain”. Singh later said that China has been “brazenly and illegally seeking to claims parts of the Indian territory such as the Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso Lake by committing multiple incursions between April 2020 till date.”

He further asserted that India must stand together and united in response to the brazen threat from China. Asking Prime Minister Modi and the government to “rise to the occasion to ensure justice” for the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and defended the country’s territorial integrity.

“To do any less would be a historic betrayal of the people’s faith,” he added.

Dr Manmohan Singh’s statement has come days after the all-party meet on June 19 in the wake of the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in a face-off with Chinese troops. During the meet, PM Modi had claimed: “Neither is anyone inside our territory nor are any of our posts captured”. The meeting was attended by presidents of over 15 political parties who expressed their support to the country and the armed forces.

However, the opposition parties raised questions against PM Modi’s statement, accusing of hiding the truth about Chinese intrusions across the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in Ladakh. In response to the controversy over PM Modi’s comments, the PMO issued a clarification maintaining that attempts are being made to give a “mischievous interpretation” to PM Modi’s remarks at the all-party meet. On June 15-16, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the violent face-off with Chinese armed forces in Ladakh, which is said to be the biggest confrontation between the militaries of the two neighbouring countries after 1967.

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