We Need to Have Trust in Our Armed Forces' Ability to Secure Our Interests: Jaishankar
File photo of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Amid the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said it was an ongoing issue and "we need to have trust in our armed forces and their ability to secure our interests". Jaishankar said there is also a need to have trust in the ability of the system — both military commanders and the diplomatic channels — in negotiating with the Chinese.
Asked about the situation at the border in eastern Ladakh, Jaishankar told Times Now in an interview: "You know this is going to play out. There will be things which China has done. There will be responses that India has made…There are actually negotiations on the way."
"I understand the compulsions on media to know everything yesterday, unfortunately, real life is a little bit different. So, this is about national security. This is a very complicated ground situation out there," he said. "We need to have trust in our armed forces and their ability to secure our interests, and frankly in the ability of the system, I mean both military commanders and the diplomatic channels, in negotiating with the Chinese," he said.
"Don't call out a match before it is halfway through," the external affairs minister added. During the interview, Jaishankar also extensively discussed his recently released book 'The India Way'.
The situation in eastern Ladakh escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes in the Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese side acknowledged suffering casualties, but it is yet to divulge details. The situation further deteriorated following at least three attempts by soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to "intimidate" Indian troops along the northern and southern banks of the Pangong lake area in the last three weeks where even shots were fired in the air for the first time at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in 45 years.
As the tensions escalated further, Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held talks on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Moscow on September 10 where they reached a five-point agreement to defuse the situation in eastern Ladakh. The agreement was the basis for the sixth round of Corps commander-level talks on Monday which was also attended for the first time by a joint secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs.
The agreement that aimed at ending the tense standoff included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC.