Updated: June 28, 2021 2:21:57 am
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh began a three-day visit to Ladakh on Sunday. This is his first trip to the region since India and China pulled back troops and armoured columns from the Pangong Tso region in February.
Singh has been accompanied by Army Chief Gen M M Naravane, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen YK Joshi and Ladakh Lt Governor R K Mathur. During the trip, Singh will visit some military formations and inaugurate certain infrastructure projects of the Border Roads Organisation.
On Sunday, Singh got a detailed briefing about the security situation in the area at the XIV Corps headquarters in Leh.
The minister also interacted with 300 military veterans, including Ashok Chakra winner Naib Subedar (Honorary) Chhering Mutup and Maha Vir Chakra awardee Colonel Sonam Wangchuk.
The Defence Ministry said in a statement that Singh “lauded the unparalleled dedication of the veterans in ensuring safety and security of the nation” and reiterated the government’s “commitment towards the welfare of the ex-servicemen”. The statement said Singh said the decision for the One Rank One Pension scheme is a “testimony” to this commitment.
“Our aim is to take care of you in the same way as you all have taken care of the security of the country,” Singh said, listing several measures taken by the government for veterans’ welfare.
The minister also met the representatives of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil.
“During his stay, he will inaugurate infrastructure projects constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and interact with troops deployed in the region,” the ministry said.
Singh’s trip comes at a time talks are stuck in a stalemate since the disengagement in the Pangong Tso region February.
Since then military commanders have met two more times, the last time in April, but no breakthrough has been achieved, as there has been no understanding on disengagement from Hot Springs, Gogra Post and Depsang Plains.
Sources have said that China has suggested the next round of talks can take place at the Division Commander level.
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