Talks with China will continue to peacefully resolve eastern Ladakh confrontation: Rajnath Singh

Talks with China will continue to peacefully resolve eastern Ladakh confrontation: Rajnath Singh

NEW DELHI: Expressing ‘full confidence’ at the way Indian troops were standing firm in the continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the diplomatic and military talks will continue in order to `peacefully resolve’ the crisis in the high-altitude region.
“Disengagement and de-escalation is the way forward,” Singh said, addressing the Army commanders’ conference here. “It is our ‘Whole of Government’ approach to ensure availability of the best weapons, equipment and clothing to our troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend our territorial integrity,” he added.
The efforts of the Border Roads Organization, while working under difficult conditions, has also led to a “quantum improvement” in the road network along the borders with both China and Pakistan, he said.
There are still no signs of any de-escalation in the almost two-year long military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, with over 50,000 troops each and heavy weapon systems continuing to be ranged against each other along the frontier.
There was no breakthrough in the 15th corps commander-level meeting on March 11, with China refusing to even complete the stalled troop disengagement at Patrolling Point-15 (PP-15) in the larger Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area.
Consequently, the resolution of the much bigger and tougher stand-offs at the strategically-located Depsang Plains and the Charding Ninglung Nallah (CNN) track junction at Demchok is still nowhere in sight, as was reported earlier by TOI.
At the conference on Thursday, Singh said the “proxy war” by Pakistan along the western front was still continuing, while appreciating the Army’s response to cross border terrorism.
“I compliment the excellent synergy among the CAPFs, J&K Police and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism. The synergised operations in J&K are contributing to increased stability in the region and the same should continue,” he said.
In the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the minister asked the top commanders to prepare for every possible security challenge that India may face in the future. “Unconventional and asymmetric warfare, including hybrid war, will be part of the future conventional wars,” he said.
“Cyber, information, communication, trade and finance have all become an inseparable part of future conflicts. This necessitates that armed forces will have to keep all these facets in consideration while planning and formulating strategies,” he added.
The minister said the government was fully focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring welfare of soldiers. “The policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat is a big step towards self-reliance in defence which offers a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to meet the future requirements of the armed forces,” he said.
Complimenting the Army for working towards this goal, he said contracts worth Rs 40,000 crore were awarded to Indian vendors by the force in the 2021-2022 financial year.

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