New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday expressed confidence that the ongoing talks between China and India for a peaceful resolution of the eastern Ladakh standoff will continue while Indian troops stand “firm” in the region.
In an address at a conference of the top Army Commanders, he said ensuring the availability of the best weapons, equipment and clothing to the troops braving extreme weather and “hostile forces” to defend territorial integrity is a national responsibility. The defence minister also commended the Army for its firm response to cross border terrorism.
“Commenting on the current situation along the Northern borders, the Raksha Mantri expressed full confidence that while troops are standing firm, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of crisis will continue,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
His comments came over two weeks after the 13th round of military talks between Indian and Chinese armies ended in a stalemate with both sides blaming each other for the impasse.
In a strong statement after the talks, the Indian Army said the “constructive suggestions” made by it at the negotiations were neither agreeable to the Chinese side nor Beijing could provide any “forward-looking” proposals.
Referring to the situation along the border with Pakistan, Singh complimented the Indian Army’s response to cross border terrorism.
“I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF/ police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The synergised operations in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is getting the region to a stable and peaceful environment conducive for overall growth and development,” he said.
The four-day-long conference of the top commanders of the Indian Army began on Monday and it has carried out a comprehensive review of India’s security challenges including in eastern Ladakh, other areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Jammu and Kashmir.
The defence minister complimented the forces for the high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities, saying he personally experienced it during visits to various forward areas. Singh also paid tributes to all the “bravehearts” who made supreme sacrifices in the line of duty.
“The government is focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring the welfare of soldiers,” he said, adding the policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) in the defence sector is a major step to meet the future requirements of the armed forces.