Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday addressed the Rajya Sabha on the pertaining border dispute with China, declaring that no global power can prohibit Indian troops from patrolling in the traditional areas.
Ripping into China once again, Singh said the neighboring country has a disregard for the demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) and its troops' conduct defies the bilateral agreements.
Two days after he spoke in the Lower House, Singh took questions from the opposition in the Rajya Sabha on the situation at Eastern Ladakh. When asked if China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) was hindering Indian troops' patrolling, Singh replied, "That is the reason for our fight with China."
Indian Army will continue patrolling in well-defined areas, he said, in response to Congress' AK Antony.
The Defense Minister revealed that China continues to occupy 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 PoK to China. China also claims approximately 90,000 sq. km of Indian territory in the Eastern Sector of the India-China boundary in Arunachal Pradesh," he added.
Lauding the patience and bravery of the Army, Singh assured India won't hesitate in taking any harsh decisions. He revealed the Indian side was now in a better position to retaliate.
"Starting a war is in our hands but the end is not in our hands. I am astonished at times that peace is compromised," the senior leader told the House.
"In the current situation, there are sensitive operational issues involved. So, even if I want, I can't reveal details. I'm sure the House will understand this sensitivity," Singh said; after which Chairman Venkaiah Naidu asked him to address issues of select ministers separately.
Today, when the House opened for comments, many opposition leaders indulged in sloganeering to show solidarity toward Armed forces.
Antony, who was the Defense Minister in the UPA era, told the House that the Galwan Valley was never a disputed site.
"But even there our soldiers are not being allowed to patrol. And Pangong...We used to patrol Finger 8," he reportedly said.
Singh's latest comments are similar to his remarks in Lok Sabha, wherein he blamed China for the current situation.
To recall, tensions between China and India have been simmering since April-May after New Delhi's infrastructure push was seen as trespassing by Beijing.
In June, the situation worsened after China's aggression sparked bloodshed in the Galwan Valley, for the first time in decades.
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