Attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the Prime Minister at the All-Party Meeting (APM) yesterday.
Prime Minister was clear that India would respond firmly to any attempts to transgress the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In fact, he specifically emphasized that in contrast to the past neglect of such challenges, Indian forces now decisively counter any violations of LAC (“unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain”).
The APM was also informed that this time, Chinese forces have come in much larger strength to the LAC and that the Indian response is commensurate. As regards transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions.
The focus of the PM’s remarks in the APM discussions were the events of 15 June at Galwan that led to the loss of lives of 20 Indian military personnel. Prime Minister paid glowing tributes to the valour and patriotism of our armed forces who repulsed the designs of the Chinese there. The Prime Minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces. The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day.
The words of Prime Minister “Those who tried to transgress our land were taught a befitting lesson by our brave sons of soil”, succinctly summed up the ethos and the values of our armed forces. The Prime Minister further emphasised, “I want to assure you, that our armed forces will leave no stone unturned to protect our borders”.
What is Indian territory is clear from the map of India. This Government is strongly and resolutely committed to that. Insofar as there is some illegal occupation, the APM was briefed in great detail how over the last 60 years, more than 43,000 sq.km has been yielded under circumstances with which this country is well aware. It was also made clear that this Government will not allow any unilateral change of the LAC.
At a time when our brave soldiers are defending our borders, it is unfortunate that an unnecessary controversy is being created to lower their morale. However, the predominant sentiment at the All Party Meeting was of unequivocal support to the Government and the armed forces at a time of national crisis. We are confident that the unity of the Indian people will not be undermined by motivated propaganda.