Sunday 23 January 2022
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Modi says ‘no compromise’, Jaishankar asks China to honour agreements

While India has retaliated to Chinese aggression, the prime minister started his address to the chief ministers with a reference to the border clash in Galwan Valley that cost the lives of 20 Indian soldiers

In his first remarks on the border clash between soldiers of the Indian and Chinese army in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today India wanted peace but was capable of giving a befitting reply if provoked. With these words, the prime minister tried to reassure the country that the government was taking steps to protect India’s sovereignty and also delivered a stern message to Beijing.

The prime minister said India had always promoted peace among nations, PM Modi said before beginning his exchanges with chief ministers via video conference on the COVID pandemic. While India has retaliated to Chinese aggression, Modi started his address with a reference to the border clash in Galwan Valley that cost the lives of 20 Indian soldiers.

The prime minister briefed the chief ministers and the country about the escalation. In a reference to other powers in the world, Modi said nobody would be allowed to stop India from retaliation if someone targeted the country’s sovereignty.

Saying that India’s constant effort has been that differences should not become disputes, the prime minister reminded China’s President Xi Jinping of their meeting and the agreement the two leaders had reached.

Referring to the extraordinary courage that India’s soldiers displayed when, unarmed, they were surrounded by Chinese troops who had come to the meeting with an intention to escalate the situation, equipped with clubs wrapped in barbed wires, Modi said, “The country will be proud to know that they died after they killed their adversaries (desh ko Is bāt par garv hogā ki ve mārte, mārte, mare haiN).”

Prime Minister Modi seemed to have deliberately not referred to the ongoing dialogue between the military heads of the two countries so that people don’t get a message he is looking for a way out. In fact, he said, “I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not be in vain. For us, India’s unity and sovereignty is the most important and no one can stop us from protecting it. No one should have a doubt on this point. India wants peace but is capable of a befitting reply in every circumstance.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present at the chief minister’s conference along with Home Minister Amit Shah, had earlier in the day described the loss of soldiers “deeply disturbing and painful”. “The nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers. The nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this difficult hour. We are proud of the bravery and courage of India’s brave hearts,” the defence minister tweeted.

Shortly after the prime minister’s intervention, Amit Shah paid tributes to the soldiers killed in action. “The pain of losing our brave soldiers while protecting our motherland at Ladakh’s Galwan can not be put in words. Nation salutes our immortal heroes who sacrificed their lives to keep Indian territory safe and secure. Their bravery reflects India’s commitment towards her land,” Shah said.

Early this morning, the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force were put on high alert, with the Modi government giving the first emergency-time powers and autonomy to fight back.

China, go back: Jaishankar

Today, India gave a firm message to via the Ministry of External Affairs too. The ministry said that the Chinese side took “premeditated and planned” action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties including deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.

Modi says 'no compromise', Jaishankar asks China to honour agreements

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar lodged the protest during a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

The MEA said in a statement after the conversation that India had conveyed to that the Galwan Valley development would have a “serious” impact on the bilateral relationship. It added that the need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take “corrective” steps.

“EAM underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June,” said the statement from the ministry.

The ministry’s statement pointed out that according to the agreement reached on June 6, the two sides had agreed for de-escalation and disengagement, which was being followed through regular meetings between ground commanders last week before the Chinese side sought to erect a structure.

“While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on the ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo,” the EAM statement said.

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