Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that India wants peace and wants good relations with everyone, but anyone who provokes the country will not be spared.
He also spoke about India and China holding talks to find a resolution over the nearly eight-month military standoff in eastern Ladakh, adding that the maintenance of the status quo is not a positive development.
Speaking to ANI news agency, Singh, when asked about possible collusion between Pakistan and China, said, “I don’t want to pre-empt anything. We are highly focused. Jo humko chhedga, toh use hum chhodenge nahi. Bas, chahe jo bhi ho. (If someone provokes us, we won’t spare them, no matter who it is.) But we try to maintain good relations with everyone.”
In a veiled reference to China, the minister said, “If some country is expansionist, and tries to occupy India’s land, tries to snatch it, then India has that strength and capability that it will not let its land go into the hands of any other nation.”
When asked about the military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh, Singh said talks between the two countries are on at the diplomatic and the military levels, “lekin abhi tak koi kamiyaabi mil nahi paayi hai (there has been no success yet)”.
Singh said India has always wanted peace, not just with China, but with everyone. “For a long time there have been perceptional differences between India and China about the boundary. It would have been good if these (differences) had ended… Even previous governments tried towards ending these differences through talks, but a solution could not be found,” he said.
He added, “Till the status quo is maintained, it is natural that (military) deployment cannot be reduced. Our deployment will not come down, and I don’t think their deployment will reduce… I don’t think it is a positive development. But yes, talks are going on, and we expect to find a positive solution through talks.”
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