Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that the situation at the Indo-Chinese line of control in Ladakh is of "grave concern" not only for the nation's strategic interests but also has "far-reaching global geopolitical ramifications."
Expressing his deepest condolences on the "supreme sacrifice" made by the personnel of the Indian Army in Galwan Valley Mukherjee who served as a former defence minister, said the conscience of the nation has been "bruised" and needs to be addressed satisfactorily by the entire political class through a "bipartisan consensus."
"My deepest condolences on the supreme sacrifice made by the personnel of the Indian Army. Having served as the Defence Minister at one time and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces at another, it is my considered opinion that no service in the cause of Mother India can be greater than the service rendered by the brave hearts who guard our Sovereignty and Integrity, as indeed our freedom with their lives," Mukherjee said in a statement.
"Having said that, I would like to underline that this particular situation of tension at the Indo-Chinese line of control in Ladakh is of grave concern for not only our national strategic interests but also have farreaching global geo-political ramifications," he added.
Mukherjee went on to say that while this situation has to be "successfully diffused and contained", it also has to be ensured that all avenues are explored so as to avoid any repetition in the future.
"The conscience of the nation has been bruised and needs to be addressed satisfactorily by the entire political class through a bipartisan consensus - the onus of achieving which lies mostly on the Government of India, by taking various stakeholders, including the armed forces on board. It is for the government of the day, to ensure that nothing but our national interests are kept supreme," he said.
The violent clash started late on June 15 in Ladakh's Galwan Valley as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh and the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side, India had said on Tuesday.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the face-off and Indian intercepts revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured.
( With inputs from ANI )