The Congress on Monday said China needs to realise that stability and peace at borders and restoration of status quo ante are a must to rebuild trust between the two countries as it termed reports of withdrawal of Chinese troops from Galwan Valley ‘a positive development’.
The Congress also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take the country into confidence and apologise for ‘misleading’ the people by saying that no Chinese intrusions had taken place.
Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said disengagement and de-escalation is a priority on the Line of Actual Control and called upon India to insist for a pullback of Chinese troops from the Pangong Tso area.
“Reports of Chinese troops withdrawal from Galwan Valley is a positive development. Disengagement and de-escalation on LAC is a priority. India must insist for pullback in Pangong Tso. There is need for eternal vigil.
“China needs to realise that stability and peace at borders and restoration of status quo ante is a must to rebuild trust. Proud of our Army for standing firm in Nation’s defence,” Sharma said.
Party spokesperson Pawan Khera said the Indian Army has been trying to push the Chinese PLA back and the party is happy to hear reports that Chinese troops are going back.
“The prime minister should today use this opportunity to come out and address the nation, take the country into confidence, apologise to the country that ‘Yes, I went wrong, I misled you’ or maybe he wants to use some other words.
“He should come and take the country into confidence and clarify not just his past statement, which was unfortunate, but also how much of our territory is still under their occupation and how far had they come in and now how much have they withdrawn,” he said, adding that the prime minister or the defence minister should clarify.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said select news channels are running that Chinese forces are withdrawing from P-14 and Indian territory in Galwan Valley.
“If correct, we welcome and salute our forces. But PM said no one ever occupied our territory. Did he then mislead the nation,” he asked.
Khera said, “We are proud of our Army. We never had any doubt about the ability of our Army to do that and they have done that on several occasions in the past, whether it was Pakistan, whether it was China, our Army doesn’t need anybody’s certificate.”
A day before Chinese military began pulling back from Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed on an expeditious withdrawal of troops, holding that a complete disengagement at the ‘earliest’ was necessary for full restoration of peace in border areas and both sides should not allow differences to become disputes.
Chinese troops began removing tents early on Monday and started to withdraw from Galwan Valley, the site of a violent hand-to-hand clash between the two militaries on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, government sources said.
Rearward movement of vehicles and troops was seen in Gogra Hot Springs as well but there was no confirmation of similar disengagement in Pangong Tso area, said the sources.
They said Chinese troops moved back around one kilometre from patrolling point 14, 15 and 17 in Galwan Valley. —