Manmohan Singh: Disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy

IANS
Monday, 22 June 2020

"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," said former Prime Minister Manomohan Singh.

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying "disinformation" on the Chinese transgression will be a "betrayal" to the sacrifice made by the Indian soldiers at the LAC and it was neither a "substitute for diplomacy" nor "decisive leadership".

Manmohan Singh was criticising Modi's statement at the all-party meeting on Friday and later clarification by the Prime Minister's Office on the June 15 night's violent face-off between the Indian and Chinese sides at Galwan Valley on the Line of Actual Control that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including a commanding officer.

The PM statement was used by the Chinese to get away from their misdeeds at the Galwan Valley.

"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," said the former Prime Minister.

Manmohan Singh in a statement said: "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," added Manmohan Singh.

Singh said Prime Minister should be "mindful" of the implications of his words.

He said in Indian 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 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 between April 2020 till date.

"The Nation, lost twenty brave soldiers in the Galwan Valley, Ladakh on June 15th-16th, 2020. They laid down their lives in the ultimate act of sacrifice, valour and duty to our country. Our bravehearts defended the motherland till their last breath and for that we owe them, and their families, our eternal gratitude," said the statement

"However, their sacrifice cannot be allowed to be in vain. At this moment, we stand at historic crossroads. 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.

"We cannot and will not be cowed down by threats and intimidation nor permit a compromise with our territorial integrity," said Manmohan Singh.

"This is a moment where we must stand together as a nation and be united in our response to this brazen threat and the Prime Minister and the Government have 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," said the statement from Manmohan Singh.

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