Rajnath Singh arrives in Ladakh on 3-day visit

Leh : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday arrived in Ladakh on a three-day visit to review the overall security situation in the hinterland and along the borders in the Union Territory.

The Defence Minister’s visit to Ladakh holds significance as it comes days after India and China held a fresh round of talks and agreed to resolve ‘remaining issues’ to end the prolonged military standoff that began in May last year along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

Official sources said that Mr Singh arrived this morning at Leh airport, where he was received by Lt Governor of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur and other senior Army and civil administration officials.

They said that during his three-day visit, the Defence Minister will review the security situation and operational preparedness along the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. “The Defence Minister will be given a detailed briefing by top Army commanders at Army’s Leh-based headquarters of Fire and Fury Corps about the overall situation,” they said.

“Mr Singh will also interact with troops guarding the LAC in a hostile environment to boost their morale,” they said.

They said Mr Singh would also inaugurate various infrastructure projects constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the UT. “Leaving New Delhi for Ladakh. During my visit, I shall be interacting with the troops and attending the inaugural function of several infrastructure projects constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Looking forward to it,” Mr Singh wrote on micro-blogging site twitter before leaving Delhi for Leh.

At the 22nd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), held virtually, the two sides agreed to hold the next (12th) round of the Senior Commanders meeting at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement from all the friction points along the LAC. “The two sides had a frank exchange of views on the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas,” a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.

It said that both sides agreed on the need to find an early resolution to the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh keeping in view the agreement reached between the two Foreign Ministers in September 2020.

“In this regard, the two sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through the diplomatic and military mechanisms to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from all friction points so as to ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility to enable progress in the bilateral relations. They also agreed that in the interim, the two sides will continue to ensure stability on the ground and prevent any untoward incident,” the statement added.

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