India’s blunders in war…..and in peace!

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By Nazarul Islam, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: Narendra Modi’s government has done well to hold an all-party meeting on Friday, to highlight a grave, ongoing crisis on the India-China border. Reportedly, this had arisen from the violation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by Chinese soldiers, followed by the brutal killing of many Indian soldiers, including an officer.

Again, this was the worst violence on the border—recorded in the last 45 years. A nation must be taken into confidence in the situation, which continues to be volatile and has continued to build up. The debacle had concerned not just the government, but India’s image of a rising, global superpower. Most political parties were represented at the meeting in New Delhi, where they had extended full support to the government, in their handling of the situation.

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There are genuine questions about when and how the crisis developed, and the consequent criticism of the Indian government. But the parties have refrained from taking partisan political positions on the matter. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concluding remarks at the meeting created (avoidable) confusion and raised unsettling questions about what happened at the LAC.

Unfortunately, many of these questions have not been answered satisfactorily even now. The prime minister said that “no one has intruded, nor is anyone intruding, nor has any post been captured by someone”. These did not serve as the words of assurance the nation was looking for, because they conflicted with the facts in the public domain and the government’s claims and statements made earlier, in this regard.

If there had been no intrusion, one needs to know what defined the ‘escalating situation’ on the roof of the planet, and why and where were the soldiers martyred? What are the details of the talks that had taken place among the senior army officers of the two sides? India’s External Affairs Ministry had shared last week that the Chinese side “tried to erect a structure in the Galwan Valley on our side of the LAC’’. The prime minister’s statement has contradicted this version.

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Again, India’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had issued a clarification on Saturday which only added to desperation embedded in the confusion. It said the focus of the prime minister’s remarks was about the incidents on June 15, which had led to the loss of the lives of soldiers. All this has not shed any new light on the matter. The PMO had also remarked that a “mischievous interpretation’’ has been given to the Prime Minister’s remarks.

Let us call a spade, a spade. Why did India’s media grant a concession to so many retired senior army officers to comment publicly on a sensitive issue of national defense and security forces? Those who had leaped at the opportunity to register their comments, had obviously, misread a situation that had gone out of Indian soldier’s control.

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Finally, it must be understood that confusing and contradictory statements from responsible and high office, on the Indian side has undermined the country’s position and even helped to reinforce China’s position and claims. Unfortunately, the prime minister’s statement failed to convey the right message, that 1.3 billion people had longed to hear!

A leader who fears being conquered is sure to be defeated!

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Nazarul Islam

Nazarul Islam

The author is a former Educator, based in Chicago (USA).

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