‘No force can stop India from patrolling border’

NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asserted that no force in the world can stop Indian troops from patrolling the country’s border in Ladakh region.
Replying to clarifications sought by MPs in Rajya Sabha on his statement on the border row, the minister said skirmishes and face-off with China in the last few months have been primarily over the issue of patrolling the Ladakh border.
“I want to make it clear, skirmishes and face-off are because of this (issue of patrolling),” he said, adding the patrolling pattern is traditional and well defined.
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“No force in the world can stop Indian soldiers from patrolling. Our soldiers have sacrificed their lives only for this,” the minister said.
In his statement, Singh said China attempted to change the status quo along the LAC with its provocative military manoeuvres late last month and that there is a mismatch between what Beijing says and does.
The minister said India wants a peaceful solution to the boundary issue, but will not shy away from any action required to defend the sovereignty of the country.
Lauding the Indian troops, he said that the forces maintained ‘Sayyam’ (patience) and displayed ‘Shaurya’ (valour) in the face of provocative actions by the PLA.
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The minister said that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 square kilometres of area in the Union Territory of Ladakh. He added that it also claims approximately 90,000 square kilometres of Indian territory in the eastern sector of the India-China boundary in Arunachal Pradesh.
“China continues to be in illegal occupation of approx 38,000 sq km in the Union Territory of Ladakh. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq km of Indian territory in PoK to China. It also claims approximately 90,000 sq km of Indian territory in the Eastern Sector of the India-China boundary in Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
Recalling the Galwan Valley incident, he said, “On 15 June, Col Santosh Babu, along with his 19 brave soldiers, made the supreme sacrifice in Galwan Valley towards the cause of defending the territorial integrity of India. Our Prime Minister himself went to Ladakh to boost the morale of forces.”
While the two sides were engaged in diplomatic and military dialogues, Singh said the “Chinese side again engaged in provocative military manoeuvres on the night of 29th and 30th August in an attempt to change the status quo in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake”.
“But yet again, timely and firm actions by our armed forces along the LAC prevented such attempts from succeeding,” he said, adding that, “Unki kathani aur karni alag hai (their actions are at variance with their words).
Watch LAC-faceoff: Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements, says Rajnath

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