While not advocating war, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged the Centre to take a tough stand on the continuing border stand-off with China if the neighbouring country was not responding to diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue.
The problem needs to be resolved through negotiations and diplomacy, but “we cannot turn our back to the threat posed by the aggressive moves of the Chinese at the border,” he said, in response to questions during his video press conference.
As sovereign nations, both countries should find a diplomatic solution to the problem, said Amarinder, adding that India “does not want war but we will not accept bullying by China.” “We want peace, but they cannot push us around,” he said, asserting that the Chinese had to be pushed back, out of the Indian territory.
Asserting that India cannot keep allowing its land to go away, the CM said if the threat is not countered, the Chinese will demand more and more land in the future, which cannot be permitted at any cost.
Citing the Dokhlam incident, he pointed out that such provocations on the part of China were common, and they had encroached Indian territory even in Aksai Chin, and had resorted to similar actions in Arunachal Pradesh.
Attempts have been made by China in the past to lay claims on Indian land in Himachal Pradesh and UP too, the CM pointed out.
China has to leave the Indian territory into which they have now moved and on which they have no right, said Amarinder, warning that the Indian armed forces were now much more modernised and equipped than they were back in 1962, and “China cannot not afford to take us lightly.”
Asked about the threats of disturbance to mark the Operation Blue Star anniversary, the Chief Minister said nobody would be allowed to disrupt the peace of Punjab, which had lost 35,000 lives during the dark days of terror. No Punjabi wants this, he said, adding that it was only a handful of anti-India elements that continued to try and provoke people in the name of Khalistan every now and then.