In a strong message to China after the killing of at least 20 Indian soldiers in the violent face-off with Chinese troops, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India wants peace but is capable of giving a befitting reply, if instigated.
His remarks came at the sixth interaction with Chief Ministers, via video conferencing, to discuss the situation emerging post-Unlock 1.0 and plans ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have prayed for the welfare of humanity. We have always worked with neighbouring countries in a friendly way and cooperation. We have always tried that our differences should not turn into disputes. We never provoke anyone. But we can never compromise on country’s integrity and sovereignty. We have always displayed our power in protecting the country’s integrity and sovereignty,” the Prime Minister said.
“I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our soldiers will not be in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are most important. And no one can stop protecting our country. India wants peace but it is capable of giving a befitting reply if provoked.
“The country is proud of them as they sacrificed their lives while killing the enemy,” he added.
The Prime Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of 15 States and Union Territories, who are present in the meeting via video-conferencing today, observed a two-minute silence as a tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the violent face-off.
At least 20 Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel rank officer, had lost their lives in the violent face-off in the Galwan valley area of Ladakh on June 15.
The violent face-off happened in Galwan valley as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to “unilaterally change” the status quo during de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh and the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side, India said on June 16.
Prime Minister Modi has called for an all-party meeting to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas on June 19.