Army chief’s remarks expose ‘deterioration of India’s national security’: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh | India News – Times of India



NEW DELHI: Army chief Manoj Pande’s recent remarks have raised concerns about “serious deterioration” of India’s national security under the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.
Ramesh said the Army chief’s comments during his recent annual press conference served as a reminder of China’s refusal to give Indian troops access to 2,000 square kilometers of territory in Ladakh, even after four years.

“General Pande’s remark that ‘our attempt is to continue talks (with China) to go back to the status quo ante which existed in the middle of 2020’ is a reminder that the Chinese continue to deny Indian troops access to 2,000 square kilometres of territory in Ladakh almost four years after their intrusion,” said Ramesh.

Situation in J&K
General Pande’s observation that there has been an increase in terrorist activities in the Rajouri-Poonch sector and that support infrastructure from across the border continues, highlights the failure of claims that terrorism would end due to demonetisation or the removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, Ramesh added.
He further noted that since August 5, 2019, more than 160 troops have been killed in terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, with the most recent attack occurring on January 12 in Poonch, fortunately without any casualties.
China’s increasing influence
Ramesh also criticised PM Modi for giving China a clean chit on June 19, 2020, stating that it was an insult to the fallen soldiers and contributed to China’s control of over 2,000 square kilometers of Indian territory, despite 18 rounds of military talks.
He also mentioned China’s increasing influence in neighboring countries, such as Maldives and Bhutan, as evidence of China’s inroads across India’s neighborhood.
Ramesh further alleged that the PM’s focus on beach visits and social media campaigns instead of taking real action to protect India’s national interests is inadequate.
The senior Congress leader also highlighted the Modi government’s callous attitude towards national security, as revealed in former Army Chief MM Naravane’s book, where it was stated that the armed forces were taken by surprise by the Agnipath Scheme.

He added that decisions were taken from the lens of electoral advantage and for the prime minister’s “self-aggrandisement”.
“The Modi government’s callous attitude towards national security, which it looks at solely from the lens of electoral advantage, is also evident from the revelation in former Army Chief M M Naravane’s book that the Army was ‘taken by surprise’ by the Agnipath scheme and that ‘for the Navy and Air Force, it came like a bolt from the blue’.
“All of these examples show that for the PM, even national security has been reduced to an instrument of his personality cult and self-aggrandisement, at the cost of the country,” Ramesh alleged.
(With inputs from agencies)





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