Guwahati: Issuing a stern warning to China weeks after the violent confrontation in Galwan Valley of Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, PM Narendra Modi on Friday said that the "era of expansionism" is over.
The PM in an address to the Army, Air Force, and ITBP personnel stationed at the border during his unannounced visit to Leh, said that the time for expansionism is over. This is the era of development. He recalled that it is this mindset of expansionism that did great harm.
He added that in the last few years, several steps have been taken for the wellbeing of India's forces and furthering India's security preparedness. This includes ensuring availability of modern weaponry, increased border infrastructure, border area development and expanding the roads network. He further shared that expenditure on border infrastructure has been enhanced three times.
He also mentioned the efforts to strengthen the national security apparatus and to ensure the well-being of our armed forces. He highlighted recent initiatives of the government such as the creation of CDS, construction of a grand National War Memorial, the fulfilment of OROP after decades and steps to ensure the well-being of the families of the armed forces personnel.
Modi said that commended the soldiers and said that the bravery shown by the jawans has shown India's strength. "Their power is as strong as the Himalayas and the whole country is proud of them", Modi said.
The Prime Minister also paid homage to the soldiers who were killed in a violent confrontation with the Chinese soldiers and said that the country's resolve of being Atma-nirbhar has become stronger. He also added that the government is looking to provide the jawans with whatever tools they require to protect the frontier.
He affirmed that be it Leh-Ladakh, Kargil or the Siachen Glacier, be it the high mountains or the icy cold water that flows in the rivers, these are testimony to the gallantry of India's Armed Forces. The enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces, said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister also paid homage to two Matas: to Mother India and to the Mothers of all those brave soldiers and security forces of India who serve India with unparalleled diligence.
It may be recalled that 20 Indian army jawans were killed in the worst flare-up along the Line of Actual (LAC) in over 50 years, while disengagement was underway. Although Beijing has confirmed that Chinese troops also fell during the battle, it has so far remained silent regarding the names of the soldiers who were killed.
So far, there have been three rounds of Corps Commander-level talks between XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military Region Commander Major General Liu Lin a possible breaking of the impasse. However, it has been revealed by Indian Army sources that more meetings and talks will be needed, both at the military and diplomatic levels, to resolve the issue.