Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said that India does not want to grab the land belonging to its neighbours Pakistan and China and wishes to only maintain peace in the region, PTI reported. His remarks came amid border tensions between India and China.

“We should not make India strong by becoming expansionist, we should make India strong for establishing peace,” Gadkari said at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s virtual Jan Samvad rally in Gujarat. “We never tried to grab land of Bhutan. Our country made Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the Prime Minister of Bangladesh after winning the war [with Pakistan in 1971], and our soldiers returned thereafter.”

“We took not a single inch of land,” the union minister added. “We do not want land either of Pakistan or China. All we want is peace, amity, love, and wanted to work together.”

Gadkari added the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government brought peace to the country by firmly dealing with terrorism and insurgency. “Whether it is about almost winning over the Maoist problem or securing the country from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism,” Gadkari said. “There is China on the one side of our border and Pakistan on the other side. We want peace, not violence.”

Border tensions between India and China heightened in May after Chinese troops clashed with the Indian Army at several points along the Line of Actual Control. India and China do not share a defined and demarcated border. Instead, there is the Line of Actual Control, which stretches thousands of kilometres from Ladakh all the way to Arunachal Pradesh.

The dispute between India and China centres around a strategic bridge being built near Daulat Beg Oldi, a military post south of the Karakoram Pass. China has reportedly asked India to stop building infrastructure even on its own side of the LAC. New Delhi, on the other hand, has asked Beijing to maintain the status quo on the border. In recent weeks, India and China have reportedly deployed additional troops along the LAC at North Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh.

Last week, the two countries agreed to peacefully resolve the border-standoff after high-level military talks. The meeting was held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.