‘Disengagement and de-escalation’ the way forward, says Rajnath Singh to resolve boundary issues with China

At a time when the stalemate continues over border talks between India and China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday reiterated the government stand that “disengagement and de-escalation is the way forward”. Both the countries are still to resolve two friction points of Depsang plains and Demchok along the LAC since the Galwan face off of May 2020 in the eastern Ladakah.

The Chinese, even after 29th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) held on March 27 in Beijing, refrained from using “disengagement and de-escalation” in its official statement as the solution to defuse the tension at the LAC in the Northern Border. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign stated that both the sides “had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the ideas of work for the next stage.”

While the India’s MEA reemphasised the position in its press release by stating that “the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on how to achieve complete disengagement and resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)“.

Way forward

Meanwhile, the Defence Minister in his address to top Army commanders expressed full confidence in the troops for “standing firm” to guard the northern borders and wished the “ongoing talks for peaceful resolution will continue and disengagement and de-escalation, is the way forward”.

Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the senior Minister also complimented the efforts of Border Road Organisation (BRO) for the quantum improvement of road communication in the borders both of Western and Northern, despite working under difficult conditions.

On the situation along the western borders facing Pakistan, Singh appreciated the Army’s response to cross border terrorism, even though he stated that the proxy war by the adversary continues. “I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF/Police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The synergised operations in the Union Territory of J&K are contributing to increased stability in the region and the same should continue,” he said.

Doctrinal changes

He also suggested that doctrinal changes whenever required should be made to make the Armed Forces future ready and that defence diplomacy, indigenisation, information warfare, defence infrastructure and force modernisation should always be deliberated upon in the Army Commanders Conference forum.

The Chief of Defence Staff, and chiefs of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy along with other senior officers were present at the conference.

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