50,000 troops deployed in Ladakh: Rajnath

NEW DELHI, Oct 28: Hailing the Indian Army’s actions in “truly” protecting the integrity and sovereignty of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said that while the troops are standing firm in Eastern Ladakh, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of the crisis will continue.
In an address to the top Commanders of the Army, the Defence Minister described the Army as one of the “most trusted and inspiring” organisations in the country and said it is a national responsibility to provide the best weapons, equipment and clothing to the troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend India’s territorial integrity.
Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in Eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between India and China have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the row.
The Defence Minister also clearly asserted that there will be no budgetary constraints to enhance the capability of the Army and meeting its other requirements.
In a tweet after his address to the commanders, Singh said the Government will leave no stone unturned to strengthen the “arms of our Armed forces” and that it is committed to facilitate reforms in the Army and help it achieve advantages in all areas.
“Addressed the Army Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi today. I’m extremely proud of the initiatives undertaken by the Indian Army in the current security environment,” he said.
The Army said the defence minister complimented the force for its high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities, which he experienced first-hand during his visits to forward areas.
Talking about reform initiatives to strengthen combat capabilities of the armed forces, Singh mentioned plans to roll out integrated battle groups, integrated theatre commands and integrated air defence commands, and called them “game-changers” in the way Indian armed forces will fight future wars.
In his address, Singh also paid tributes to the “bravehearts” of Galwan, Kashmir and the Northeast for making the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of the motherland, the Army said in a statement.
The Defence Minister, while commenting on the current situation along the northern borders, expressed confidence that while troops are standing firm, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of the crisis will continue, the Army said.
His comments came ahead of the eighth round of military talks between the two armies. The fresh round of talks is expected to take place in the next few days.
“It is our national responsibility to ensure availability of best weapons, equipment and clothing to our troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend our territorial integrity,” the Army quoted Singh as saying.
The Defence Minister also reaffirmed the faith of the billion-plus citizens in the Indian Army as one of the “most trusted and inspiring” organisations in the country, the Army said in the statement.
In his address, Singh mentioned the stellar role played by the Army in guarding the country’s borders and fighting terrorism, apart from providing assistance to the civil administration whenever called for.
“Actions of Indian Army truly ensure the integrity and sovereignty of our great nation,” he said.
Referring to the situation along the border with Pakistan, the defence minister lauded the Army’s response to cross border terrorism and ceasefire violations and its excellent synergy with Central Armed Police Forces and police in tackling terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is due to the synergised operations in the Valley that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is moving to a stable and peaceful environment conducive for overall growth and development,” he remarked.
The top Army commanders are carrying out a comprehensive review of India’s combat readiness along the Line of Actual Control with China as well as the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the four-day conference that began on Monday.
The Army said its apex leadership is comprehensively deliberating upon all aspects of existing security scenarios, the situation along the borders and in the hinterland and challenges for the present security apparatus.
Also, the conference is focussing on issues of organisational restructuring, logistics, administration and human resource management.(PTI)