Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that India wants a solution to the border dispute with China through dialogue and claimed the government would never allow the sanctity of borders to be violated. The Modi administration has made it clear to the armed forces that any unilateral action on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) should not be ignored, he said.
Mr Singh virtually delivered the third Balramji Dass Tandon Memorial Lecture organized by Panjab University on the issue of national security.
The defense minister said there are “perception differences” at the border with China.
“Despite this, there are some agreements, protocols that the armies of both countries follow to conduct patrols,” he said. Referring to the clashes in eastern Ladakh last year, Mr Singh said Chinese forces had ignored “agreed protocols”.
“Under no circumstances can we allow the Chinese military PLA to act unilaterally against the LAC. That is what the Indian military did in Galwan that day and boldly confronted the PLA soldiers and forced them to withdraw,” he said as he mentioned it. as a “historic” incident.
India wants a solution to the border dispute with China through dialogue, the defense minister said, claiming the government will never compromise on issues of “the country’s borders, its honor and self-respect”. “We will never allow the sanctity of borders to be violated,” he said.
He recalled the incident in Galwan and said the Indian army’s bravery, courage and restraint are incomparable and unparalleled.
In the first deadly clash in the border region in nearly five decades, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley on June 15 last year in fierce hand-to-hand combat with Chinese forces, triggering a large deployment of troops and heavy weapons. by both armies at the points of friction in eastern Ladakh.
In February, China officially acknowledged that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in clashes with the Indian army, although the death toll is widely believed to have been higher.
In a major move toward restoring peace and tranquility to the region, the Indian and Chinese armies completed the process of withdrawal and restored their ground position to pre-stalemate Gogra in eastern Ladakh after 15 months.
The development came after the 12th round of military talks between the two sides on July 31 at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point in eastern Ladakh.
Earlier, the Indian and Chinese front troops had conducted the first synchronized withdrawal on the southern and northern shores of Pangong Lake in February.
The army has been trained to pull the trigger upon seeing the enemy’s movement, but the Indian army has shown both courage and restraint as it worked with great maturity, Rajnath Singh said.
Despite this, he said some opposition leaders had raised questions about the military’s capacity.
The defense minister said India learned a lot from the 1962 war against China.
On improving infrastructure, he said the Atal Tunnel project in Rohtang, which had been on hold for a long time, has been completed by Modi’s government. “This tunnel is of strategic importance,” he said.
The Border Roads Organization is developing infrastructure projects and Ladakh gained all-weather connectivity, he said, and work has begun on several alternative roads.
The minister said it will also help people living in border areas, as these people have “strategic importance to us”.
“Taking into account their interests, it is necessary to strengthen the border infrastructure,” he said.
Referring to the situation in the northeast, the minister said an era of peace has dawned in this region over the past seven years.
There was a time when the entire region faced insurgency, he said, calling the restoration of peace in the northeast the “greatest strategic victory” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure.
The minister said that over the past seven years, the government has also managed to bring left-wing extremism under control.
When the BJP government was formed in 2014, as many as 160 districts were affected by the Naxal problem, while this number has dropped to 50 in 2019.