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India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh visits Ladakh to review border situation

Rajnath Singh during his visit to the border areas. (India's Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of MoD/Released)
July 21, 2020

On Friday, the Defense Minister of India Rajnath Singh visited Ladakh for two days to assess and analyze the border condition on both the Line of Actual Control (LAC) bordering China and Line of Control (LoC) bordering Pakistan.

Defense Minister Singh was joined by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane of Indian Army, DNA India reported. His visit followed after the head of state and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi took a surprise visit to Ladakh on July 3 and addressed the nation and forces.

The decision to travel Ladakh comes at a time when Pakistan has been frequently violating the ceasefire from across the LoC. Additionally, India and China are in the process of completing disengagement at friction points along the LAC in eastern Ladakh after holding the fourth round of Corps Commander-level meetings, which were held between Chinese and Indian Army commanders in the prospect of de-escalation on LAC.

On his first day of the visit, Defense Minister Singh witnessed para dropping skills of the Armed Forces at Stakna, Leh and reviewed the weapons showcased by the army from a range of newly procured Sniper SAKO TRG 42 .338 Lapua magnum caliber rifle like SiG716, as well as tanks like T-72, and all-purpose equipment used by forces on operational duties.

Defense Minister Singh addressed the forces while saying that, “No country in the world can touch or occupy even an inch of India’s territory.” He added, “talks should lead to a resolution of the issue,” but told troops at the Lukung Border Observation Post (BOP) near Pangong Tso that there was no guarantee to what extent the issue would be resolved.

Such visits by the leaders are seen as a morale booster and also to give a signal about India’s preparedness to tackle any conflict or threats from adversaries.

Just last month, there was a deadly clash near LAC between the Indian forces and the Chinese forces with casualties on both sides. After a series of military and diplomatic level meetings, the tensions were brought under control and the disengagement process was started.