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Talks on, won’t compromise on India’s honour: Rajnath Singh


NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday described the talks with China to resolve the border situation as “positive” and said that under no circumstances India’s honour and pride would be compromised.

In his first comments after the two countries held lieutenant general-level talks on the border situation at Ladakh, Singh said it has been agreed that talks are the way to resolve the current tussle and future disputes but under no cost would India let its self-respect be impacted.

Speaking to BJP workers from Maharashtra at a virtual rally, the defence minister attacked opposition leaders who have been raising the China issue, saying they should have confidence in the abilities of Indian armed forces and assured that he would give a resounding response on the floor of Parliament.

“When two nations have a dispute, we all need to be together. They (opposition) should have confidence on the army of the nation. I cannot imagine how they are making comments on national security,” he said. Singh said it has always been India’s policy to not show aggression towards its neighbours but it would also never tolerate any attack on its self-respect, assuring that the border dispute with China would be resolved through engagements at the military and diplomatic level.

“We have been having diplomatic and military-level talks,” he said. “On June 6 we had very positive (Lt Gen level) talks. India and China have agreed that the current tussle and future border situations need to be resolved through talks and we will continue to do that.”

The defence minister on Monday took stock of the border situation at Ladakh at a high level meeting with chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs. China had signalled a willingness to de-escalate matters along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Saturday’s meeting of top military officials at Chushul, agreeing to hold further conversations among local commanders to find a way to ease tensions, as reported by ET.

India, however, remains cautious as reports came in on Sunday that China had beefed up its military presence in the area. Chinese media outlet Global Times reported that “several thousand soldiers” were moved in “few hours” through a special manoeuvre last month.

The Indian Army too has beefed up its numbers in Ladakh, deploying several thousand soldiers, artillery and armour to the areas of potential conflict.

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