Amid border row, Rajnath says India ready to ‘defeat any misadventure’
At Aero India, Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said India’s robust stance, calibrated response and the unrelenting spirit of its soldiers led to stabilisation of the situation along the country’s northern borders
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said India has witnessed unfortunate attempts by its neighbour to employ force to alter the status quo along its unresolved borders, referring to the prolonged border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
“India is vigilant and prepared to counter and defeat any misadventure to defend our people and the territorial integrity at all costs…Our resolve towards this end is shown by our growing defence capabilities. Aero India 21 will showcase this commitment.,” Singh said in his inaugural speech at the biennial air show.
During the ninth round of military talks on the border standoff on January 24, the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) agreed to push for an early disengagement of their frontline troops at frictions areas on the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
“They also agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, maintain the good momentum of dialogue and negotiation, and hold the 10th round of the corps commander-level meeting at an early date to jointly advance de-escalation,” said a joint statement issued the following day.
Singh on Tuesday said India’s robust stance, calibrated response and the unrelenting spirit of its soldiers led to stabilisation of the situation along the country’s northern borders.
India has consistently pushed for comprehensive disengagement at all flashpoints and restoration of status quo ante of early April 2020 during the ongoing military talks. Until now, the Chinese side was insisting that the Indian Army first pull back troops deployed on strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso.
India has made all preparations to hold ground in Ladakh for an extended duration. On January 12, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that the Indian Army was prepared to hold its ground in eastern Ladakh “for as long as it takes” to achieve national objectives in case the ongoing military and diplomatic talks with China are prolonged.
While the LAC in eastern Ladakh has been at the centre of the current border tensions, Indian forces are in a heightened state of alert all along the border with China stretching from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in a brawl in north Sikkim last month, with soldiers from both armies suffering minor injuries in the clash that turned the spotlight on the eastern sector even as rival soldiers are deployed eyeball to eyeball in Ladakh. Rival soldiers have so far clashed at least five times since the India-China border row erupted in the Ladakh sector last year.