No one can stop Army from patrolling: Rajnath to Rajya Sabha on China row
Singh said the recent action of the Chinese forces of amassing troops reflects a disregard for bilateral pacts, adding that the Indian forces were capable of dealing with any challengeUpdated: Sep 17, 2020 13:53 IST
No power in the world can stop Indian forces from patrolling areas where they have traditionally done so, defence minister Rajnath Singh asserted in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, adding that China has amassed troops on the border for which the Army had made appropriate counter-deployments.
In a detailed statement on the situation in the Upper House, Singh said the recent action of the Chinese forces of amassing a large number of troops reflects a disregard for bilateral pacts, adding that the Indian forces were capable of dealing with any challenge. He, however, underlined that the differences can best be dealt with peacefully.
Responding to concerns expressed by members on the Chinese side obstructing Indian patrols, Singh said no change in the patrolling pattern would be allowed.“On patrolling pattern, I want to make clear that that is the reason behind the face-off. The patrolling pattern is traditional and well defined. No power in the world can stop our jawans from patrolling. If our soldiers have made sacrifices, this is the very reason for doing so. And there will be no changes in the patrolling pattern,” Singh said.
Earlier, several members, including former defence minister A K Antony, had expressed concerns about Indian patrol not being allowed up to traditional points. Many members also said there should be restoration of status quo ante.
In a detailed statement in the House, Singh underlined that while India was committed to peace, it was also firm on protecting its boundaries. The defence minister said it had been conveyed to the Chinese side that the situation at the boundary will also have an implication on other areas.
Singh told the Upper House that the India-China boundary issue is unresolved. China believes the boundary issue is still unsettled, he said adding that it also does not recognize the customary line.
Both countries discussed this in the 50s and the 60s but there was no solution. China has occupied 38,000 sq km of Indian land, Singh said.
He said during discussions, China has also accepted that a peaceful solution is needed. But till now, there is no commonly delineated Line of actual control on India-China border areas, he added.
“India believes bilateral relations and boundary question can be discussed. But the situation on LAC will definitely have an impact on the bilateral issues,” Singh said, adding that there is often a perception overlap in many places.
Singh said that this year, from April, China increased the number and weaponry on the border. “Our army took necessary measuress. We have made clear that unilateral status quo is not accepted under any circumstances,” Singh said.
He added that China had initiated a very violent face-off in Galwan. “Our soldiers responded and also inflicted losses on the transgressing side,” Singh said.
The defence minister said it was made to clear that LAC must be respected by both sides and there should be no unilateral attempt to alter the status quo.
“It is clear from Chinese actions that there is difference between what is being said and being done,” Singh added. He said it was clear from the actions at the south bank of the Pangong lake but the Indian Army had dealt with the attempts effectively. Chinese actions reflect a “disregard” for bilateral pacts, he added.
These pacts have detailed norms to deal with face-offs. The violent conduct of Chinese forces is a violation of all norms, Singh said. “The Chinese side has accumulated a large number of troops and ammunition.Our forces have also done appropriate counter-deployments. The House should be assured that our forces are capable of dealing with this challenge. Amid Covid-19, there has been a fast deployment of our forces. That is also because the government has focused on development of border infrastructure,” the defence minister said.
In the interest of the country, whatever tough steps need to be taken, will be taken, the defence minister said. Singh said the aggressive demeanour and amassing of troops on the border are issues which he had raised with his Chinese counterpart in Moscow.
“It is true we are passing through a challenging phase in Ladakh. But also rest assured that our forces are capable of dealing with it,” he said.
Emphasising that India believed that it was best to deal with differences peacefully, Singh said that it is always possible for one to start a war but not easy to end it. Pointing to the nation’s resolve in defending itself, Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself gone to Ladakh to encourage the jawans.