Issue ultimatum to Beijing to ‘vacate’ Galwan Valley territory: Amarinder urges Centre
Chandigarh, June 19: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday advocated "aggressive" steps to take back the Galwan Valley territory "seized by the Chinese", and urged the Centre to issue an ultimatum to Beijing "to vacate the occupied land immediately".
His statement came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an all-party meeting in Delhi on Friday that neither has anyone intruded into Indian territory nor has anyone taken over any post.
"Advocating aggressive steps to take back the Galwan Valley territory seized by the Chinese, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh urged the Government of India to issue an ultimatum to Beijing to vacate the occupied land immediately, with a clear warning that failure to do so would lead to serious consequences for them," an official statement said.
“While India would also have to suffer some consequences of such an act, it could no longer afford to allow such intrusions and attacks on its territorial integrity to continue,” he said.
Singh said that past experience showed that when faced with aggression, the Chinese have always backed off. "It is time to call their bluff."
“The Chinese, with their Salami tactics, had been nibbling into Indian territory piece by piece since 1962,” said the chief minister in a statement here, demanding an end to these intrusions, claiming 60 years of diplomacy has failed to stop such Chinese activities.
Questioning the “so-called agreement which prevented the Indian troops from firing” during the faceoff with the Chinese on Monday night, he asked, “How can one have an agreement of this nature with a hostile neighbour?” “In any case, it was clear that the attack on Indian soldiers was a premeditated one by the Chinese, who had come prepared with their crude but deadly weapons,” he said.
“By carrying nail-studded lathis and barbed-wire clubs and by attacking our troops they abrogated whatever agreement was in place.”
In the circumstances, the Indian soldiers had full right to retaliated by using their own weapons, he remarked. Singh said Colonel Santosh Babu’s death at the hands of the Chinese was an insult to the entire Indian Army.
He said the Indian Army is well-trained and equipped with the best of weapons, and it has every right to use them when faced with such a brutal and treacherous attack.
He recalled that during his term in the Army, armed soldiers were always strategically deployed whenever senior officers went for meetings with the other side, and were ready to jump in for a rescue operation, if needed.
“Why were soldiers not so deployed in this case? And if they were, why did they not use their weapons to rescue the officers and men under attack?” he asked.
“If the situation is allowed to escalate further, then China, in collusion with Pakistan, would get further emboldened to encroach into more Indian territories, which had to be stopped at all costs,” said the chief minister.
On Thursday, he had asked, “Why no orders to fire at the Chinese were given” in the face of the brutal attack on Indian soldiers in Ladakh's Galwan Valley. Twenty soldiers including four from Punjab had died in the clash in Ladakh on Monday.
Meanwhile, reacting to SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal's tweet accusing him of playing politics on the Galwan Valley issue, the CM said as an ex-Army man, he had every right to express his opinion.
“With 20 soldiers dead, no soldier, in fact no Indian, could remain unaffected,” Singh said. Contrary to the “misleading picture being projected by Sukhbir”, Singh said that he, like every Indian, stood with the government of India at this critical hour.
In his tweet, Sukhbir had said, “Let us all resolve to stand with PM @narendramodi &Indian Army & support them in giving strong msg to China that #India won't allow transgressions on its borders. Also urge CM@ capt amarinder not to play politics & let our Generals take decisions on guarding our sovereignty (sic)”.