India wants peace but is capable of giving a befitting reply when instigated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday in his first remarks on the bloodbath between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley at the LAC two days back.
Sendng a clear signal on the stand-off that resulted in the killing of 20 Indian soldiers, Modi said India won't tolerate any misadventures when it comes to defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The PM was addressing the Chief Ministers and administrators of the UTs over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. He began by urging everyone to observe a two-minute silence in honour of the 20 martyrs and concluded by chanting 'Om Shanti'.
Though PM clarified that India prefers peace, he asserted that India will do whatever it takes to defend itself.
Articulating India's clear stand, the Prime Minister, in virtual presence of a host of Chief Ministers, said: "I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are important. India wants peace but when instigated, India is capable of giving a befitting reply."
He said sacrifice and valour are in India's character.
Earlier, the Prime Minister called an all-party meeting on June 19 to build a political consensus over the issue.
At least 20 Indian Army men, including an officer, were killed on Monday night during a violent face-off with China's People's Liberation Army troops at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh region.
These are the first casualties faced by the Indian Army in a clash with the PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh..