India-China dispute: PMO statement ‘lame attempt’ to hide truth, alleges Congress

A Permanent Invitee Member of Congress Working Committee (CWC), Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday issued a rejoinder in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at the end of the all-party meet as well as a clarification issued in this regard by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) on June 20.

In the statement, Surjewala writes on behalf of the party, “The Congress Party has taken note of the statement of the PMO in response to the Press Conference addressed by Mr P Chidambaram and the important questions raised therein.”

“The PMO’s statement is clearly a lame attempt to obfuscate the truth,” it goes further to allege.

Randeep Singh Surjewala says that the PMO and the Government of India need to clearly state whether Galwan Valley is part of Indian Territory or not. He asks, “Why is Government not coming forward and strongly rebutting the Chinese claim over Galwan Valley? If Chinese troops are present there, does it not amount to intrusion into and occupation of Indian territory? Also, why is the Government silent on intrusions in the Pangong Tso area?”

Alongside his argument, Surjewala states, “The PMO’s statement belittles the gravity of the situation on the India-China LAC. Security Experts, Army Generals and Satellite Imagery have confirmed not only one intrusion on June 15, 2020, but several intrusions into and occupation of Indian territory in the Ladakh area.”

Referring to the fourth paragraph in the PMO’s statement issued on Saturday, Surjewala writes, “Clearly, the implication is that there was one intrusion on June 15 and it was repulsed.”

A national spokesperson of the Congress, Surjewala cites the several statements made by the Defence Minister and the Chief of Army Staff on disengagement between Indian and Chinese Forces. He says, “We also refer to the statement of MEA dated June 7 that both sides agreed to resolve the situation in the border areas and called for an early resolution.”

Surjewala also mentions the MEA’s statement dated June 17. “All these unmistakably point to the presence of Chinese troops at several places in the Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso Area that have to be brought under disengagement and de-escalation. Our information is that no such disengagement has been completed by the Chinese and, in view of their illegal claim to the whole of Galwan Valley, the onus lies on the Government to protect our territorial integrity,” he claims.

Randeep Singh Surjewala concludes his rejoinder with the statement, “We sincerely urge…

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