The Sino-India border dispute can be resolved through a “structural dialogue” and a positive approach, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday. Singh made the remarks while visiting a forward post in Uttarakhand where he met jawans of the Indo Tibetan Border Police. Undertaking the first-ever visit by a senior minister to the China border after the recent resolution of the stand-off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector, Singh said there has been a “perceptional difference” of the border between the two neighbours for long and that he was sure that this issue will be “resolved” with time.
“The border issue will be resolved once we have structural dialogue (with China). What we need is a positive approach (to the issue),” the home minister said at the ITBP post located at an altitude of 14,311 feet. Singh said the Dokalam “deadlock” was resolved similarly and without any confrontation. The ‘Mana’ ITBP post is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand as the last battalion centre of the paramilitary that serves forward border bases along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Interacting with the jawans of the force during a ‘Sainik Sammelan’ at the border post, Singh also made the announcement that “light clothing” for winters and to combat frosty weather will be provided to the ITBP troops, who are mostly deployed above the height of 9,000 feet. He assured the troops that issues such as better promotional avenues, exemption of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) canteens from the GST and enhancement of infrastructure and other facilities for them will be taken up on priority.
The minister expressed concern that not many promotions have been effected in the force, as he asked ITBP Director General (DG) R K Pachnanda to undertake more steps in this regard. The force has recently promoted about 1,600 personnel across various ranks. “We are trying to give the best facilities to our jawans…we have recently promoted about 36,000 troops (in the constabulary) in all the CAPFs, including 3,500 from the ITBP. “These things will keep going on…we will surely look into all your issues,” he told the jawans.
Singh praised the ITBP personnel and called them “multi-dimensional” as they render a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country. “We are proud of you,” he said. The 90,000 personnel strong ITBP is tasked with guarding the 3,488km long Sino-India border across five states from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.