Leh: Asserting the not even an inch of Indian land can be taken by any world power, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that a befitting reply will be given to anyone, who tries to hurt the self-respect of the country.
‘The talks are underway… whatever progress has happened so far, the issue (border dispute between India and China) should be resolved. But to what extent it can be resolved, I cannot guarantee. I can assure you, not one inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world,’ Mr Singh said while addressing troops of Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at Lukung post near Pangong Lake in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
‘If solution can be found by talks, there is nothing better,’ he added.
The Defence Minister said India is the only country in the world that has given the message of peace to the whole world. ‘We have never invaded any country nor have we occupied the land of any other country. India has given the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The World is One Family),’ he said.
Advocating for peace, he said India has never wanted unrest and never tried to hurt the self-respect of any other country.
However, he said if anyone tries to hurt the self-respect of India, it will not be tolerated in any case and a befitting reply would be given.
The Defence Minister said that the whole nation was proud of India Army. ‘Recently what happened between troops of India and China at PP14… Our soldiers have sacrificed their lives for the nation for that 130 crore Indians are indebted to them. We all are pained by their sacrifices,’ he said.
Mr Singh said that he is proud to be among the company of the Indian soldiers. ‘I am happy to meet you all but also saddened because of loss of lives recently at LAC. I pay my tributes to them,’ he added.
Lauding Narendra Modi, he said the Indian leadership is strong as it has a Prime Minister who takes prompt decisions.
The Defence Minister also paid tribute the martyrs of the Kargil war. ‘If we are standing in Ladakh today, then on this day, I also pay tribute to the brave soldiers who guarded the borders of India and laid down their lives in Kargil war,’ he added.
Mr Singh, who arrived in Ladakh along with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane in the morning, interacted with Indian Army and ITBP personnel at Lukung.
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister also witnessed troops of Armed Forces carrying out para dropping exercise at Stakna forward post this morning. The Defence minister also witnessed scoping weapons.
Mr Singh is on a two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.