PMO says PM’s com­ments in­ter­preted mis­chie­vously

LAC FACE-OFF Cong had ac­cused Modi of sur­ren­der­ing In­dian ter­ri­tory to China

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - Sm­riti Kak Ra­machan­dran letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEWDELHI: The Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice (PMO) said on Saturday that PM Narendra Modi’s re­marks at an all-party meet­ing the pre­vi­ous day that no in­truder was on In­dian ter­ri­tory across the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol (LAC) with China and that no In­dian mil­i­tary post had been cap­tured were be­ing given a “mis­chievous in­ter­pre­ta­tion”.

The PMO’s state­ment was a ri­poste to a Congress at­tack that Modi sur­ren­dered In­dian ter­ri­tory in the face of Chi­nese ag­gres­sion across the LAC and that his com­ments flew in the face of pre­vi­ous claims by de­fence min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh and ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter S Jais­hankar.

“At­tempts are be­ing made in some quar­ters to give a mis­chievous in­ter­pre­ta­tion to re­marks by the Prime Min­is­ter at the all­party meet­ing yes­ter­day. The Prime Min­is­ter was clear that In­dia would re­spond firmly to any at­tempts to trans­gress the LAC,” the state­ment said.

The PMO said that PM Modi specif­i­cally em­pha­sised that in con­trast to the past ne­glect of such chal­lenges, In­dian forces now de­ci­sively counter any vi­o­la­tions of the LAC (“unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain”).

“Be­cause of the im­proved pa­trolling, our vig­i­lance has gone up and the mil­i­tary gets to know what is hap­pen­ing on the bor­ders at the right time,” Modi said at the all-party meet­ing, point­ing out that In­dian sol­diers were able to in­ter­cept the Chi­nese forces who ear­lier had a free run. “If you keep on in­ter­cept­ing them, it is ob­vi­ous that ten­sions will rise,” he said. The all-party meet­ing on Fri­day was called to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion along the

LAC fol­low­ing the bru­tal June 15 brawl be­tween In­dian and Chi­nese troops in the Gal­wan val­ley in eastern Ladakh, in which 20 In­dian per­son­nel were killed. It was the first time since 1975 that In­dia suf­fered com­bat fa­tal­i­ties in a skir­mish with Chi­nese troops. Ten In­dian sol­diers de­tained by the Chi­nese side were later re­leased af­ter in­tense ne­go­ti­a­tions through diplo­matic and mil­i­tary chan­nels. China has so far not ac­knowl­edged any ca­su­al­ties among its troops.

Fol­low­ing the PMO’s state­ments, the Congress termed it “a lame at­tempt to ob­fus­cate the truth”.

REUTERS

An army con­voy moves along a high­way lead­ing to Ladakh.

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