Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that Chinese troops did not enter India’s territory along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, and nor were any Indian posts taken over during the face-off.
Addressing an all-party meeting on the border situation with China, Modi said: “Twenty jawans did die, but they taught a lesson to those who had their eyes on India. India’s armed forces have the capability to move into multiple sectors at one go. Our forces will do whatever it takes to protect the country.”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray were among at least 17 political parties who attended the meeting, which was held in the evening via videoconferencing.
Modi assured the political leaders that India’s defence forces – be it on land, air or water – were doing everything to protect the country’s borders. “The infrastructure development in border areas has gained in pace over the past years” he added. “This has strengthened our patrolling capacity.”
“Be it trade, connectivity, counter terrorism, India has never accepted any external pressure,” Modi said. “Whatever is necessary for national security, whatever construction of infrastructure is necessary, will continue to be carried forward at a similar pace.”
The prime minister said that India wants peace and friendship with all nations. “However, protecting its sovereign is paramount for us,” he added.
Tensions between India and China escalated this week after at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with their Chinese counterparts in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15. China has not released the number of its soldiers who died. This is the first instance of casualties on the Line of Actual Control since 1975. On June 16, New Delhi blamed the confrontation on Beijing’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the area.