Rajnath Singh apprises senior leaders AK Antony, Sharad Pawar of India-China standoff

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met Congress Leader AK Antony and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Friday and briefed them about the prevailing situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Eastern Ladakh. 

Both Antony and Pawar have served as defence ministers of the country.

Sources in the defence ministry said, “CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane were present during the briefing.”

The meeting is viewed as an outreach initiative of the government ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on July 19.

Recently, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had walked out of a parliamentary standing committee meeting of defence ministry while demanding that it should discuss the border issues the border tension with China though it was not part of the agenda.

Rahul Gandhi had been alleging that India ceded land to China as the Armies of the two countries had clashed in Eastern Ladakh in May 2020 which had led to standoff at multiple points and there are more than 50,000 troops still deployed along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

This meeting between Rajnath Singh and the two former defence ministers took place a day after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had met in Tajikistan during the Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional grouping of eight nations.

The two agreed that the resolution of the border situation be prioritised as the prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest the two countries.

“Highlighted that unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable. Full restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas is essential for development of our ties. Agreed on convening an early meeting of the Senior Military Commanders,” the Foreign Minister tweeted.