Amid a standoff with China on the Ladakh border, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday (June 14) that India will never compromise on its “national pride”, asserting that it is no longer a “weak” country and that its security capability has increased.
Speaking at a virtual rally for Jammu and Kashmir, Singh also assured the opposition that the central government will not keep Parliament or anyone in the dark about developments on the border and will share details at an appropriate time.
“I want to assure that we will not compromise with national pride under any circumstance. India is no longer a weak India. Our strength in national security has risen. But this strength is not meant to frighten anyone but to secure our country,” Singh said.
To many more talks
The senior BJP leader said China has expressed its wish to resolve the dispute with India through talks, and the Indian government also has a similar view.
“This is also our effort to defuse the tussle between India and China through military and diplomatic level talks,” he said, noting that the two countries are engaged in military level dialogue.
In his speech, he also stated that the annulment of Article 370, which had given the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir a special status, has led to all round development in the union territory.
The government will carry out so much development in the region in the coming years that people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir will demand to be part of India. This will lead to the fulfillment of our Parliaments resolution that PoK is an integral part of India, Singh said.
Modi’s 9 visits to China
Meanwhile, taking a swipe at the prime minister over the issue, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Saturday (June 13) said China has “again occupied our territory” and listed that Narendra Modi had visited China nine times, including five as the premier.
“While Chinese have again occupied our territory, important to remember list of official visits to China (sic),” he said on Twitter, giving a list of visits by all former prime ministers to China.
He said Modi paid nine official visits to China, while his predecessor Manmohan Singh visited only twice. Former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narsimha Rao visited only once each and others did not pay any visit to the Dragon nation.
Despite numerous visits by Modi, the country is now faced with this situation, he said.
“One of the most decisive victories ever against the Chinese happened in 1967 at Sikkim border, under a Congress government. India had successfully inflicted huge casualties on enemy, drove them back and won the confidence of Sikkimese people. It was a befitting reply to 1962,” he tweeted, referring to the 1962 war.
Patel said the present government gave the slogan of “Inch to Miles” for the ties between India and China, and asked, “Was it meant for what is happening at our border or for diplomatic relations.”
The Congress has been demanding answers from the government on the current standoff between India and China on the border in eastern Ladakh.
On Thursday (June 11), Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said India is maintaining military and diplomatic engagements with China to peacefully resolve the row at the “earliest”.
(With inputs from agencies)