Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir is a part of India: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the border situation with China as a matter of perceptional difference, but there are agreements and prodelhiIndia and China carry out patrolling, he added. Referring to the stand-off in eastern Ladakh in 2020, he said  that the Chinese Army ignored protocols and unilaterally tried to change the status quo on the LAC. He lauded the valour and dedication of the Indian Army which foiled the attempts by PLA to change the status quo.
Rajnath Singh reiterated the Government’s stand to resolve the border issue in a peaceful manner through dialogue. He added that talks are continuing at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the dispute. He assured the nation that the Government will never compromise on India’s border, its honour and self-respect. “We will never let the sanctity of our borders be violated,” he added.
He touched upon the measures undertaken by the Government to bolster national security, including strengthening border infrastructure and achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence. He listed out a number of steps taken to attain self-reliance, namely, notification of positive indigenisation lists and earmarking 75 per cent of defence capital procurement budget for domestic industry in Financial Year 2023-24.
 “India does not want to depend on imported weapons. Our national security will only strengthen when we become self-reliant in defence manufacturing. Our aim is to ‘Make in India, Make for the world’. Our efforts are bearing fruit. Today, we are manufacturing tanks, aircraft carriers, submarines and various kinds of weapons. Defence exports have crossed Rs 16,000 crore from a meagre Rs 900 crore before 2014. The exports will soon touch the Rs 20,000 crore mark,” he said.
Rajnath Singh also enumerated the structural reforms undertaken by the Government, including the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and setting up of Department of Military Affairs. He added that the Government continues to move forward and work is being done to set up theatre commands, which will be another revolutionary reform.
Rajnath Singh underlined the importance of coordination with major world powers, such as the US and Russia, to protect India’s security interests in this globalised world. He stated that India and US are being seen as natural allies and their strategic partnership is being further cemented.
Rajnath added that India-US defence cooperation has grown rapidly with the expansion of military-to-military engagements, information sharing and cooperation in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, cyber, space and mutual logistics support. He termed the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US as a landmark event, which ushered the bilateral defence cooperation in a new era.
Rajnath Singh mentioned about the General Electric (GE) Aerospace-Hindustan Aeronautics Limited deal to co-produce F-414 fighter jet engines in India. “With this deal, we will become the fourth country to manufacture jet engines. Tejas aircraft will be fitted with these made-in-India engines,” he said.
Rejecting speculative reports on the price and other terms of purchase of MQ-9B drones from the US, Singh stated that the Ministry of Defence will compare the acquisition cost of the drones with the best price General Atomics (GA) offered to other countries. He added that the acquisition will be made only by following the established procurement procedure.

Hindi Website