China wants to resolve dispute via talks, India not a weak nation anymore: Rajnath Singh
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that New Delhi and Beijing want to resolve the boundary standoff in Ladakh via military and diplomatic level talks.
Addressing a virtual rally here in Jammu on the completion of first year of the BJP government’s second straight term in office, Singh said, “Presently India and China are engaged in a dispute in Ladakh. Many people including the Opposition have raised questions. From time to time, information is being given to the people but I would like to inform that military level talks are on to resolve the dispute.”
Even as the two sides are reported to be engaged in a phased de-escalation from more than a month long military standoff, Singh asserted that India wouldn’t compromise with national pride as it was no longer a “weak nation”.
“China also wants resolution via talks and India also wants to resolve this tussle through diplomatic and military talks. I would like to tell the Opposition that we don’t want to keep anyone in the dark. We would divulge everything at an appropriate time. For now, I can say with confidence and conviction that we can never make any compromise with our national pride. India is not a weak nation anymore. Our power has increased manifold,” he said.
The defence minister said that India was strengthening its forces to secure the country and not to scare anyone.
In this contest he also referred to the US president’s invite to India at the G7 summit to substantiate his claims of India’s growing popularity and power at the international forum.
“Our India is in secure hands. The BJP government appointed the chief of defence staff without wasting any time. The issue of national security was hanging afire the past 15 to 20 years. We did it in a single stroke,” he said.
“Rafale will be delivered to us in July and they will increase our power. We don’t want to scare anyone but they will strengthen our defence forces”, he added.
In next 5 years J&K will undergo a sea-change, even PoJK will clamour to live with India: Rajnath Singh
On the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, the defence minister said that in the next five years, the Modi government will bring a sea-change in the region’s image vis-à-vis progress and development.
“In the next five years, J&K’s image will undergo a sea change and the people of PoJK will be envious of it. And, wait for some time, PoJK will demand to be with India and not with Pakistan. The day it happens, our unanimous resolution of the Parliament will also be fulfilled,” he said.
He further said, “The weather has changed. Our channels are now showing temperatures (weather forecast) of Muzaffarabad and Gilgit, And, Islamabad is feeling the heat. Therefore, there is now more mischief (on the borders and in Kashmir) but our security forces and agencies are giving them a befitting reply. Terrorists are being killed in large numbers in the Valley these days.”
Rajnath added that it’s not just the Rs 2 lakh crore package for Jammu and Kashmir, the Modi government has been according top priority to the UT, which was evident from the construction of bunkers all along the Indo-Pak borders to shield the villages, reservation benefits to the residents living along the international border on the lines of LoC villagers and strengthening of PRIs.
He also informed that the work on Delhi-Amritsar-Katra express corridor has also been started.
Article 370 an old stain, done away with at the blink of an eye: Rajnath
Rajnath Singh took potshots at BJP’s arch-rival Congress for its “silence” on Article 370 and 35-A and said, “We revoked it within 100 days in office, at the blink of an eyelid, but I would like to ask why Congress, which had a full majority but had supported Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, remained silent on it. When we revoked it in August last year, Congress called it an attack on secularism. But may I ask Congress why the word ‘secularism’ remained absent from the preamble of the J&K Constitution?”
Article 370 was an old stain and the moment we got full majority, it was done away with at the blink of an eye, he added.
He recalled how the discriminatory temporary provision was incorporated via an ordinance and not via an act of the Parliament.
“Had Article 370 been so integral, then why Congress didn’t make it a permanent provision and why it was kept as a temporary provision,” he asked.
Singh said that during the so-called ‘Azadi’ movement in Kashmir, Pakitani and ISIS flags were hoisted with impunity but now Tricolors could be seen across the valley.
The defence minister said that with an end to Article 370, the oppressed people like refugees from PoJK, West Pak refugees and Valmiki community got equal rights after more than 70 years of Independence.
“Today I recall our visionary leader AB Vajpayee, who believed in Kashmiriyat, Jamhurityat and Insaniyat. BJP stands committed to it and for us Kashmiriyat is Hazratbal shrine and Amarnath Baba,” he said.
Rajnath heaped praise on PM Modi vis-à-vis Covid 19 pandemic.
“Many developed countries like the US, Brazil and Spain were badly hit by the Covid 19 but our PM Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on March 25. Entire India abided by it. Had it not been declared, the magnitude of the damage would have been enormous and difficult to tackle. Even WHO appreciated India for its efforts in tackling this dreaded virus. We strengthened our health infrastructure and started manufacturing PPE kits , which are now being exported to other countries. Here I would like to congratulate J&K for its testing rate, which is second best after Goa.”