New Delhi, June 09, 2020.
The high-level dialogue between Chinese and Indian militaries was “positive”, and both sides vowed to continue the talks to end the “tussle”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday on the eastern Ladakh standoff, asserting that the government will not allow India”s pride and self-respect to be hurt at any cost.
His comments indicating India’s resolve to deal with the row with a firm approach came even as the two armies remained engaged in a bitter confrontation in several areas in eastern Ladakh including Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso.
The defence minister, addressing a virtual rally for the people in Maharashtra, also came down hard on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that the government should “come clean” and tell the country what is happening on the border with China.
“The talks held on June 6 were quite positive. India and China have agreed to continue the talks to resolve the border issue including the current tussle. I want to assure people that leadership of the country is in strong hands and we will not compromise on India”s pride and self-respect at any cost,” the defence minister said.
Talking about decades-old border row with China, Singh said India wants its resolution as soon as possible, adding the military and diplomatic engagement between the two sides to end the current row continues.
“India”s policy has been to not hurt anyone”s dignity and honour. At the same time, we do not allow the country”s honour and self-respect to be hurt.
On Gandhi”s comments, Singh said the whole country should be united on such an issue and have faith in the capability of the armed forces.
I cannot even imagine that any political leader will make such comments on an issue of the country”s security…. As the defence minister, I will say whatever I have to say in Parliament,” he said.
“Do not try to tell us (about our responsibility). There is a dispute between the two countries and the whole country should stand united,” he added.
Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a month-long confrontation since May 5 following a violent clash in Pangong Tso which is turning out to be biggest military standoff after the 2017 Doklam episode.