By — Shyamal Sinha
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Leh on a day-long visit to carry out a comprehensive review of the security scenario in the region in wake of the border row with China.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army chief Gen M M Naravane are accompanying Singh on the visit. The defence minister visited Stakna forward areas after landing in Ladakh where the troops showed him paradropping skills of the armed forces.
His trip comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Ladakh on July 3 during which he also addressed troops and signalled the country’s firmness in dealing with the India-China border row. Singh was originally scheduled to visit Ladakh on July 3 but the trip was deferred.
Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for over eight weeks since May 5.
Defence minister added,Talks are underway to resolve the border dispute but to what extent it can be resolved I cannot guarantee. I can assure you, not one inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world. If solution can be found by talks, there is nothing better.
The tension escalated manifold after the violent clashes in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. However, following a series of diplomatic and military talks, the two sides began a mutual disengagement process on July 6 and withdrew troops from most of the friction points.
Over the past several weeks, the Trump administration has come out in support of India against China. “He (Trump) said I love the people of India and I love the people of China and I want to do everything possible to keep the peace for the people,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a news conference here on Thursday.