NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to assure the nation that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers killed in a clash with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh would not go in vain.
Although India is a peace-loving country, it is capable of giving a befitting reply.“No one should be in any doubt. India wants peace. When provoked, it is capable of giving a befitting reply, be it any situation,” PM Modi said in a strong message to China after the border fight on Monday where 20 Indian soldiers including a colonel rank officer died that marked the giant escalation after weeks of tension.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had a telephonic conversation on Wednesday with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, sources said.
The Chinese side also sustained losses in the violence that had been the first in nearly five decades. The two nations have agreed to resolve the border clash in a fair way and de-escalate as soon as possible, reported Reuters, quoting the Chinese foreign ministry.
“The country will be proud to know that our soldiers died fighting the Chinese,” said the Prime Minister, who observed two minutes of silence in tribute to the 20 fallen soldiers before starting a scheduled meeting with Chief Ministers on the coronavirus crisis.
“I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain. For us, unity and sovereignty of the country is the most important thing,” said PM Modi.
However, opposition leaders like Congress’s Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda are accusing Modi of silence.The Prime Minister said India wants that differences should not become disputes. “We never provoke anyone but we will not compromise our integrity and sovereignty. Whenever time has come, we have proved our strength and capabilities in protecting our sovereignty. Sacrifice and resilience is in our national character. But valour and courage are also our country’s character,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi has called an all-party meeting for Friday to discuss the situation at the India-China border after the Ladakh clash. Presidents of political parties have been called for the meeting at 5 pm via video.
Army sources have said nearly 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured in the fight at Galwan Valley.
There were “casualties on both sides”. After confirming the death of three soldiers, including a Colonel, on Tuesday morning, the army added that 17 more critically wounded soldiers were “exposed to sub-zero temperatures” and died of their injuries.