SOURCE: Times Now Bureau
Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Saturday rebuffed claims that India has conceded its territory to China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and said that the country needs to trust its armed forces and their ability to secure the country’s interest.
Speaking to Times Now at, Frankly Speaking, Jaishankar said India has been trying to resolve the ongoing border dispute with China through military and diplomatic channels and that one must not pre-empt the end result.
“This is an ongoing situation, many pandits proclaim many things, give a lot of wisdom out there. I listened to them with deep respect. This is going to play out. There are negotiations on the way. This is about national security, this is a very complicated ground situation out there. We need to have trust in our armed forces and their ability to secure our interests. Both military commanders and diplomatic channels are negotiating with the Chinese side. Don’t call out a match. You are calling out a match before it is halfway through,” the foreign minister said.
He further said that the Indian armed force is in the middle of dealing with a “very serious national security challenge”.
Responding to a question whether India was not prepared for Doklam and eastern Ladakh stand-offs, Jaishankar said: “We did respond in Doklam and we have responded in eastern Ladakh. If we were caught unaware, how did we respond? If both parties patrol regularly up to the LAC and then one party for whatever reason decides to increase the number and equipment the other party naturally whether you are prepared or not is tested by your ability to respond to it. Had we not responded, you would not have had the face-offs we have seen since early May… I don’t think we should confuse what is happening out there as systematic unpreparedness. On the contrary, in the last five years, we have seen a much better logistical preparation out there. Don’t confuse strategic complacency with alertness,” he added.
India, China engaged in border row
India and China have been locked in a bitter standoff along the LAC since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Kongrung Nala.
The tension between the two countries escalated following the June 15-16 Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian Army soldiers including a Colonel were killed.
Since then, the two sides have held several rounds of talks at military and diplomatic levels to end the deadlock but there has been no significant headway as China has refused to withdraw or disengage completely from the Finger area and seems to be buying time to delay its disengagement from there.
So far, the PLA has withdrawn troops from Galwan Valley and certain other friction points but has remained adamant on not withdrawing from Pangong Tso, Depsang and a couple of other areas.