Amid the Doklam standoff with China, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said Indian armed forces are now strong enough to meet any challenge to the country’s security, be it “the eastern border or the western border”. He said lessons had been learnt from the 1962 war with China that armed forces have to be “fully prepared”.
Initiating a special debate to mark the 75th anniversary of the launch of the Quit India Movement in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley spoke on the challenges faced by the country, including from neighbours. “We learnt a lesson from the 1962 war that the armed forces will have to be fully prepared. Today also, the country faces two types of challenges from our neighbours. We kept strengthening our armed forces after every experience… Compared to 1962, the armed forces were made stronger in 1965 and compared to 1965 the armed forces were made stronger in 1971,” he said.
“I agree that some challenges are still there. Some people have their eyes on our country’s sovereignty and integrity. But I am fully confident that our brave soldiers have the capability to keep our country secure, be it the challenge on the eastern border or the western border… They are ready to make any sacrifice for the security of the nation,” he said.
He said the first challenge independent India faced was from Pakistan when it set its sight on Kashmir. He said it was every Indian’s wish see retrieval of the part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan immediately after Independence.