Army commanders conference
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said while troops are “standing firm” at the northern border, ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of crisis will continue, and also lauded the response of Indian Army to cross border violence as he addressed the top commanders of Indian Army here.
The Defence Minister, in his address to the Army Commanders’ Conference, commented on the situation on the northern border and “expressed full confidence that while troops are standing firm, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of crisis will continue,” an official statement said.
Referring to the situation along the Western borders, he complimented the Indian Army’s response. “I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF, Police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The synergised operations in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is getting the region to a stable and peaceful environment conducive for overall growth and development,” the minister said.
The minister complimented the forces for the high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities which he experienced first hand during his visits to forward areas.
“He also paid tributes to all the bravehearts for making the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of the motherland. He complimented the significant contributions made by the Army in military diplomacy to further our national security interests by creating sustainable cooperative relationships with foreign Armies,” the statement said.
He also appreciated the Army’s efforts to develop niche technologies in collaboration with civil industries including premier educational institutions. The minister said Government is focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring welfare of soldiers.
Calling the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ policy a big step towards self-reliance in defence, he said, “In 2020-2021 in keeping with the Atamnirbhar Bharat 74 per cent of contracts by Army were awarded to Indian Vendors which is praise worthy”.
He also remarked that the recent corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is a historic step and has been accepted by all stake holders which will enhance their efficiency and accountability.
The second edition of Army Commanders’ Conference started in Delhi on October 24, and will conclude on October 28.
Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event which is held in April and October every year. The meeting comes in the backdrop of Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, increase in militant infiltration attempts, tension along the western and northern borders and a continuing stand-off with China in Ladakh.
The 13th round of Corps Commander level talks between India and China on October 11, could not bring any further resolutions for disengagement in Eastern Ladakh, even as the two sides agreed to maintain ‘stability’ on ground.
The ongoing standoff between India and China in Ladakh began in May last year when Chinese troops tried to unilaterally alter the LAC in Eastern Ladakh sector, where the border is not clearly demarcated.
The Chinese action led to eyeball-to-eyeball situation, especially in Depsang, Pangong Lake, Gogra Hills and Hot Springs areas, as India mobilised troops to match Chinese military buildup to thwart the designs of the adversary.
The subsequent rounds of talks resulted in disengagement in Pangong Lake and Gogra areas.
However, the standoff continues in some other areas like Depsang.
The last round of talks took place on July 31, following which, soldiers on both sides completed the disengagement process in Gogra.