NEW DELHI: The PMO clarification on Saturday helped dispel some of the disquiet that military veterans and defence analysts felt after the Prime Minister’s statement at the all-party meeting on Friday that there was “no intruder present inside India’s borders, nor is any post under anyone’s custody”.
However, a former Army chief who did not want to be named, said, “The PM statement raises more questions than answers. Why did our people go to evict someone if they had not violated the LAC?”.
A number of
former senior officers
felt his statement contradicted the external affairs ministry’s statement on June 17 that the PLA has sought to erect a structure in Galwan Valley “on our side of the LAC”.
The PMO clarification made amends, saying Modi had clearly stated that the “violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions”. It also sought to counter the impression that India had caved in to China’s pressure.
Brigadier Sandeep Thapar (retd) appeared unmoved: “The government is being economical with the truth. Patrolling Point-14 is not a post per se occupied by troops. The PLA troops were sitting in a position to dominate the
Some serving officers also wondered why the PM had not made any reference to the ongoing troop confrontation on the
, where the PLA has occupied the area from ‘Finger-4 to 8’ (mountainous spurs). “Have we quietly ceded territory from Finger-4 to 8? If not, PLA troops are sitting on our territory,” said a Colonel, who has served in the area.
said PM Modi’s speech had become a Chinese propaganda coup. “New Delhi has released one clarification, but it won’t be the last. Undoing the damage will not be easy. The Chinese, of course, are celebrating. They have translated Modi’s key words into Mandarin,” he tweeted.
Pointing to the statements of Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao, Major-General Birender Dhanoa (retd) tweeted, “He’s sticking to his country’s side of the story. The question is: why are we sticking to his side of the story?”
'Why did our people go to evict someone if they had not violated the LAC?' said a former Army chief, who did not want to be named.