The Union Defence Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, said on Tuesday the India-China boundary dispute was long-pending and 'we want it to be resolved as soon as possible'.
This is the second public statement on the issue by a senior government functionary after the Prime Minister raised the matter of demarcation of the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) at a bilateral meeting with the Chinese President, Mr. Xi Jinping, in September 2014.
Mr. Rajnath also made the first public comment on the ongoing India-China tension along the LAC in Ladakh. 'Military and diplomatic talks are on between India and China,' he said.
Speaking at a 'Maharashtra Jan Samwaad' virtual rally organised by the BJP on Monday evening, he described as 'positive' the military commanders’ June 6 meeting at Chushul-Moldo.
'India and China have agreed that the present tussle and future border disputes will be resolved through talks,' he added.
Earlier, Mr. Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, along with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat. Sources said he was briefed on the situation along the LAC, deployment of forces and the possible outcome of emerging threats.
The Defence Minister said that under no circumstances would the government let the country's honour be affected. 'India’s policy is that we never try to hurt anyone’s honour and cannot tolerate any hit to our own,' he said.
On the Congress and Mr. Rahul Gandhi asking questions over developments along the LAC, he said, 'I will reply in Parliament… and state everything clearly,' while pointing out that the nation was led by a strong person like Mr. Narendra Modi. 'So don’t try and tell us what to do,' he told the Congress.