Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq. km in Ladakh.
“In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km. of Indian territory in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to China,” he said.
While addressing the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, Rajnath Singh said “Troops are accordingly being provisioned with suitable clothing, habitat and required defence wherewithal.”
“They are capable of serving at forbidding altitudes with scarce oxygen and in extremely cold temperatures, something that they’ve done over last many years on Siachen and Kargil,” he said.
He also said that “In past too, we’ve had situations of prolonged stand-offs in border areas with China which were resolved peacefully. Even though the situation this year is very different both in terms of the scale of troops involved and the number of friction points, we remain committed to a peaceful resolution.’
“The Chinese side created a violent face-off on June 15th at Galwan. Our brave soldiers laid down their lives and also inflicted costs including casualties on the Chinese side,” Rajnath Singh said.
He further said that he wanted to assure that the morale of our armed forces is high. “No one should doubt it,” he said, adding that PM’s visit to Ladakh has sent a message that the people of India stand behind Indian armed forces.
The Defence Minister said, “In meeting with Chinese Defence Minister, I clearly stated that while our troops had always taken a responsible approach towards border management, but at the same time there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“I want to assure you that we are ready to deal with any situation,” he said. Adding, Rajnath Singh said that “I request this house to pass a resolution that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces who are guarding our borders to safeguard India’s sovereignty and integrity.”
Rajnath Singh also said that “China has mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along LAC and inner areas. There’re many friction points in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake’s north and south banks. Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas.”