Peace first, but ready to reply: PM

NEW DELHI, JUN 17 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 6/17/2020 1:06:06 PM IST

In his first remarks on the violent face-off between the troops of India and China in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said India wants peace but is capable of giving befitting reply if instigated, and asserted that the sacrifice of “our Army men will not go in vain.”

In his opening remarks on day two of the virtual conference with chief ministers on the coronavirus crisis, Modi said India would not “compromise with its integrity and sovereignty” and will firmly defend its self-respect and every inch of land.

Modi’s remarks came two days after the fierce clash between the troops of India and China in which at least 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday.

“India is culturally a peace-loving country…We have always worked closely with our neighbours in a cooperative and friendly manner. We never provoke anyone, but we also do not compromise with the integrity and sovereignty of our country. Whenever the time has come, we have demonstrated our power, proving our capabilities in protecting the integrity and sovereignty of the country,” he said. Expressing condolences to the families of those killed, Modi said the brave sons of the country have made the supreme sacrifice while protecting our motherland in Galwan Valley.

“Today the whole country is with you. This sacrifice of our martyrs will not go in vain. Whatever be the situation, India will firmly defend the country’s self-respect, every inch of land,” he said. The Prime Minister also asked those participating the virtual interaction to observe two minute silence as a mark of respect for the slain soldiers. Modi noted that India has always tried not to allow differences to become disputes, but said,” India’s integrity and sovereignty is supreme for us, and no one can stop us from protecting it. Nobody should have any confusion or doubt about this.” The Prime Minister has also convened an all-party meet on June 19 to discuss the India-China border situation.

PM’s call for meeting comes against the backdrop of demands by opposition parties that the government should come out with the details of violent face off.


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