NCP chief Sharad Pawar has welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ladakh calling it the right step to motivate soldiers. Pawar, a former Union minister in the Congress-led UPA governments, said that such steps are expected of the country’s leadership and sought to link Modi’s recent visit with that of late PM Jawaharlal Nehru to the region after the 1962 war.
“In 1962, when we lost the war, Jawaharlal Nehru and Yashwantrao Chavan (the then Defence Minister) went there (LAC) and motivated soldiers. Similarly, our present PM has done it,” he told reporters in Pune on Tuesday.
“Whenever there is such a situation, the country’s leadership must take steps to motivate soldiers,” Pawar added.
Pawar also recalled that when he was the Defence minister in 1993, he had gone to China and a treaty was signed. Under this treaty, he said, soldiers from both the countries were to be pulled back.
He said a no-weapon treaty was also signed.
“During the all-party meeting with the Prime Minister, I had said the issue needs to be solved through diplomatic channels and we need to create international pressure on China,” he said.
The NCP supremo said that he had read in newspapers that the soldiers were pulled back after dialogue through diplomatic channels.
“If it is so, then it is good,” he Pawar added.
His comments came amidst a war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the Ladakh stand-off.
Last month, Pawar had said matters of national security shouldn’t be politicised and reminded Congress that one cannot forget China had captured about 45000 sq kms of Indian land after the 1962 war.
PM Modi had paid a surprise visit to the Army’s Nimu base in Ladakh on July 3. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane. He had addressed the soldiers during his visit to boost their morale and also met injured soldiers.