The Modi’s visit to demoralized troops in Leh brings new controversy
By Masroor Ahmad
Followed by recent border standoff with China in Ladakh region, the Indian Prime Minister Modi visited his demoralized and defeated troops in Leh on 3rd Jul 20 which has brought controversy due to his false statements over territorial lost to China. The sad part of this stopover is that It took 60 days by Modi and his Generals to visit soldiers who took severe beating at the hands of China. Evidently, Modi and his coward Generals are scared of China and could not gather courage to visit forward troops within even 100 km of Line of Control (LAC). Indian media and PM office projected Nimoo which is 125 kms from LAC as the forward most area which came as a surprise to intelligence world and Indian troops who had been mustered in Nimoo due to security reasons. Opposition parties are claiming that the visit is a political stunt as it has been planned due to their enormous pressure on BJP government and is not at all meant to elevate the morale of shattered troops.
Modi government’s claims and statements on the border standoff with China have come under severe criticism by the Opposition Congress and critics. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his remarks that “neither has anyone intruded into our territory nor taken over any post.” Whereas, in fact, India has lost over the last 60 years, more than 43,000 sq.km to China including the recent lost of territory confirmed by the local residents. The Generals walking along Modi are shameless; it is failure of Intelligence and poor leadership, which led troops dying on rocks of Galwan.
Indian Humiliation at the hands of Chinese due to failure of Civil and Military Leadership is evident. By May 18, Chinese troops occupied all the finger heights. The Chinese troops are now dominating, the newly-constructed road being the only line of communication to Daulat Beg Oldi and the major bridge is now totally at the mercy of Chinese troops. With these moves, the significance of Daulat Beg Oldi has been lost. The other important area is Galwan valley, the river Galwan named after Ghulam Rasul Galwan, a Ladakhi explorer from Leh who explored the source of the river. Chinese troops are now sitting at the confluence of Galwan river and Shyok river, hot springs and Pangong lake. According to Global Times, Galwan valley is Chinese territory where India has illegally constructed defense structures.
The demands of the Chinese army are that firstly, all the infrastructure constructed and developed should be removed. Secondly, the road to Daulat Beg Oldi is to be dismantled, including the airstrip at Daulat Beg Oldi. Face-saving interviews and narratives are coming from the Indian political and military leadership. In a recent interview, the Indian defence minister was seen stressing/begging for dialogue with Chinese officials.
The opposition parties have taken the government to account after this controversial statement by Modi. Congress leaders immediately raised the red flag that either PM Modi is misleading the nation and under his watch China has shifted the LAC further towards the Indian side, or the Indian Army walked into Chinese territory to thwart the PLA’s advances. Congress leaders have asserted that India lost 5,000 sq km in Ladakh in the recent skirmishes with China.
In response to the criticism, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a clarification saying, “ the Prime Minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment who foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day.”
Youth Congress president Srinivas BV questioned whether India has lost part of 5,000 sq km are in Ladakh to China. He said in a tweet, “On March 11, 2020, in Parliament, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muralitharan said that 38,000 square kilometers of Ladakh is under Chinese occupation.”
After the youth Congress leader’s comments, the Congress moved the big gun. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped in with a press statement advising Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not allow the Chinese to use his words as “vindication of their position”.
The hint was that the Chinese have occupied fresh territory in Ladakh and by claiming that “the Chinese have not intruded into Indian territory” the PM was condoning its aggression and hiding fresh occupation.
A senior BJP minister said, “Those who are citing statements made by the government in Parliament to claim that the government is lying are withholding facts and being economical with truth.” The local residents from Ladakh are also rejecting Modi’s claim based on blatant lie that Indian Army did not lose an inch of Indian land. The locals of Ladakh are clearly saying that Indian Army has lost considerable territory in Ladakh.
Modi in his address asked China in a concealed way to initiate peace, he said, “Those who are weak can never initiate peace, bravery is a pre-requisite for peace”. Modi’s speech was just rhetoric; he and his Generals should have actually resigned for the insult their failure has brought upon Indian nation. The Indian establishment is only well versed in bullying its weak neighbors. China has given befitting reply to India and bulldozed the so-called Indian military might.
Although, the contentious boundary issue has registered substantial progress and uncertainty looms large as to when it will be finally resolved. Despite divergences in the perceptions and approaches of New Delhi and Beijing on issues such as Sino‐Pakistani military and strategic ties and India’s Tibet policy, both countries have enormous potential and opportunities to expand and deepen their economic and trade ties in their mutual interest. However, it is difficult to predict how far economic ties of both the countries having mutual trade of around 90 billion dollar per annum can be compromised due to recent developments in Ldakh region.