‘Talks on to solve border dispute, can’t guarantee anything’: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh

New Delhi, July 17: Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived in Ladakh on Friday morning, said that talks are underway to resolve the border dispute with China in Ladakh, but stopped short of giving any guarantees on the resolution. However, Singh underlined that not an inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world.
India and China have held many talks over the past few weeks, even activating the Special Representatives Group to resolve the issue.
“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,” said Singh.
On Thursday, reflecting on the disengagement process between the two armies along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the army said it is an “intricate process” and “requires constant verification”.
“The senior commanders reviewed the progress on implementation of the first phase of disengagement and discussed further steps to ensure complete disengagement,” army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said yesterday.
The disengagement effort involves rival troops pulling back a specified distance from face-off sites, with further retreat taking place in phases as the plan progresses on a verifiable basis on the ground every 72 hours by both sides.
The government’s high-powered China Study Group (CSG) on Wednesday reviewed the latest developments in eastern Ladakh, with focus on the next stage of disengagement between the two sides.
The tension between the two countries has been going on for months, but flared up after 20 army soldiers were killed in a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops on June 15.
“Recently what happened between troops of India and China at PP14, how some of our personnel sacrificed their lives protecting our border. I am happy to meet you all but also saddened because of their loss. I pay my tributes to them,” added the minister.
Singh arrived in Leh as part of his two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. He will go to J&K?on Saturday.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane are accompanying the defence minister.
Singh witnessed para dropping while interacting with the soldiers in Stakna. (HT)