Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the country stands united with the soldiers defending the country’s borders and repose full faith in their courage and bravery. Addressing an all-party meeting via video conferencing on June 19, he briefed the leaders about the situation in India-China border areas.
Mr. Narendra Modi clarified that neither was anyone inside Indian territory nor was any of Indian posts captured. He said that 20 of our brave soldiers made the supreme sacrifice for the nation in Ladakh but also taught a lesson to those who had dared to look towards our motherland. The nation will forever remember their valour and sacrifice.
The Prime Minister said that the entire country was hurt and angry at the steps taken by China at LAC. He assured the leaders that the armed forces would leave no stone unturned to protect the country. He stressed that the country has such capability that no one can even dare look towards an inch of the country’s land. He said that today, Indian forces were capable of moving together across sectors. While on the one hand, the army has been given freedom to take necessary steps, India has also conveyed its position clearly to China through diplomatic means.
Ramping up border infrastructure
The Prime Minister underscored that India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is foremost. He highlighted that the government has given importance to the development of border area infrastructure to make India’s borders more secure. Provision has also been made for fighter planes, modern helicopters, missile defence systems and other such needs of our forces. Through the recently developed infrastructure, patrolling capacity at LAC had also increased, he said, Through this, the country and the leaders were better informed about the developments at LAC and consequently were able to monitor and respond better. The movement of those which used to take place without any disruption earlier was now checked by Indian soldiers, which at times leads to build up of tension. He noted that through better infrastructure, supply of material and essentials to jawans in the difficult terrain had become comparatively easier.
The Prime Minister emphasized the commitment of the government to welfare of the nation and its citizens and said that be it in trade, connectivity or counter-terrorism, the government has always stood up to outside pressure. He assured that all steps necessary for national security and construction of necessary infrastructure, will continue to be taken at a fast pace. He reassured the leaders about the capability of the armed forces to defend our borders and that they have been given a free hand to take all necessary steps.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the nation will never forget the sacrifice of the martyrs. External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar gave an overview of agreements between India and China on border management, informed about the directions given by the Prime Minister in 2014 to give highest priority to development of infrastructure in border areas in the regions identified and approved by the Cabinet in 1999, and also shared details of recent developments.
The leaders of all political parties hailed the bravery displayed by the armed forces in Ladakh. They reposed faith in the leadership of the Prime Minister in this hour of need and expressed commitment to stand united with the government. They also shared their thoughts and ideas on dealing with the situation.
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Bannerjee said that her party stood strongly in solidarity with the government. Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar said that there should be no difference amongst the leaders and parties should not allow any disunity which can be exploited by other nations. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray lauded the Prime Minister and said that the entire country was one and with the Prime Minister.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi said that the leaders were still in the dark about the details and questioned the government about intelligence reports and other related matters. NCP leader Sharad Pawar stressed that issues of whether soldiers carried arms or not are decided by international agreements and the parties need to respect sensitivities involved in such matters. Shri Conrad Sangma said that the Prime Minister has been working on infrastructure in the Northeast and that must go on. BSP leader Mayawati said that this was not the time for politics and that she stands with the Prime Minister on whatever decisions he takes. DMK leader M.K. Stalin welcomed the recent statement by the Prime Minister on the issue.