In his inimitable way, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told his successor Narendra Modi that "the Prime Minister must always be mindful of the implications of his words and declarations on our nation’s security, as also strategic and territorial interests."
Referring to China misusing his remarks at an all-party meeting on the conflict with China, Singh said: "The Prime Minister cannot allow them to use his words as a vindication of their position."
He was referring to Modi's remarks that neither is anyone inside our territory, nor did anybody intrude, nor have any of our posts been captured," which remained misinterpreted until the PMO clarified that Modi was only giving the status in the backdrop of the post-June 15 situation.
In a statement on the 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the Galwan valley in an ultimate act of sacrifice, valour and duty, Singh said their sacrifice cannot be allowed to be in vain.
He said: "We stand at historic cross-roads. Our Government’s decisions and actions will have serious bearings on how the future generations perceive us. Those who lead us bear the weight of a solemn duty. And in our democracy that responsibility rests with the office of the Prime Minister," who should be mindful of his words.
The former PM said China is brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory -- such as the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Tso Lake -- by committing multiple incursions between April 2020 till date. "We cannot and will not be cowed down by threats and intimidation, nor permit a compromise with our territorial integrity," he said, stressing that this is a moment to stand together as a nation and be united in response to this brazen threat.
He reminded the government that "disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership; the truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements."
Calling upon the PM and the government to ensure justice for Col. B Santosh Babu and jawans who made the ultimate sacrifice, he said: "To do any less would be a historic betrayal of the people’s faith."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that he hopes that Dr Manmohan Singh's sane and important advice shall be accepted by the PM with all humility.