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Troops standing firm on LAC: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Army Commanders’ Conference, in New Delhi on October 28, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday expressed confidence that ongoing talks for a peaceful resolution of the crisis with China “will continue”, while troops are standing firm along the disputed border in eastern Ladakh.

Also read: Boundary issue with India is ‘bilateral’, China tells Mike Pompeo

He said the concept of integrated battle groups and theatre commands would be “game changers” in the way armed forces fought future wars.

“It is our national responsibility to ensure availability of best weapons, equipment and clothing to our troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend our territorial integrity,” Mr. Singh said at the Army Commanders’ Conference that began on Monday. “There are no budgetary constraints for capability development and meeting other requirements of the Army,” he asserted.

With several rounds of military and diplomatic talks failing to make any headway for disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LoC), both sides have prepared to be deployed in the high altitudes though the harsh winter.

Mr. Singh said the creation of the post of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) was a “momentous decision”.

Also read: LAC standoff | Divergences remain between India and China despite 5-point plan

“He also alluded to the establishment of the defence cyber and space agencies which will enhance the kinetic potential of the forces,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

Mr. Singh said the government was focused on “enhancing combat capability and ensuring welfare of soldiers”.

The delegation of financial powers, the defence procurement manual and the Army headquarters restructuring proposals were under review and would be finalised soon.

He also reiterated the government’s resolve to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to enhance their efficiency and accountability.

Also read: India rejects China's 'unilateral' claims on LAC

Cross-border terror

On the border with Pakistan, Mr. Singh appreciated the Army’s response to cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations.

“I compliment the excellent synergy between the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. It is due to the synergised operations in the Valley that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is moving to a stable and peaceful environment conducive for overall growth and development,” he noted.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 5:31:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/defence-minister-lauds-armys-handling-of-current-security-environment/article32962330.ece

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