India no longer weak, will not compromise on pride: Rajnath Singh
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India and China want to resolve the stand-off between their border troops through dialogue even as he underlined that his government will never compromise when it comes to national pride. India is no longer a weak nation, he added.
“Many people including the opposition have raised questions. From time to time, information is being given to the people... military-level talks are on to resolve the dispute,” he said at a virtual rally focussed on Jammu & Kashmir. “China wants resolution via talks and India also wants to resolve this tussle through diplomatic and military talks.”
Singh said his government 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,” said Singh, who was on Friday briefed about the standoff and the status of the military-level dialogue.
Singh’s comments came a day after army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said disengagement of Indian and Chinese forces is taking place in a “phased manner” along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the situation there is “under control”.
The disengagement comes even as India and China continue diplomatic and military engagements for a resolution of the stand-off.
Indian and Chinese army delegations met on Friday for the fifth time in eastern Ladakh for talks to resolve the stand-off that began with a violent confrontation between patrols of the two countries near Ladakh’s Pangong Tso on May 5. Another confrontation later followed in Sikkim. The confrontations triggered a military build-up on both sides of the LAC that stretched from Ladakh to Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
Singh said India is strengthening its forces to secure the country and not to scare anyone. He referred to US president Donald Trump’s invite this month to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the G7 summit of seven major countries and called it an example of India’s growing popularity and power.
He insisted India is in secure hands. “The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government appointed the [country’s first] chief of defence staff [last year] without wasting any time. The issue of national security was hanging fire for the past 15 to 20 years,” he said.
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