Armed Forces BRO Rajnath

‘Armed Forces, BRO Ready To Defend’: Rajnath

Indian Armed forces and Border Road Organisation are prepared to defend the country against any conflict, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday emphasising that India does not believe in war and always wants to maintain cordial relations with its neighbours.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was speaking during the inauguration of the Siyom Bridge of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
This is Singh’s first visit to Arunachal Pradesh after the face-off between Indian and China troops in the Tawang area on December 9.

The Defence Minister today inaugurated 28 infrastructure projects built by the BRO across seven states. These projects are going to be built to facilitate the movement of heavy artillery and the movement of the troops of the Indian Armed Forces along borders.

“In this era of changing priorities and interests of the nations, it is necessary for any nation to keep itself empowered. Although, India has always remained against war as its policy. Our Armed forces are always ready to face any kind of situation and Border Road Organisation is walking along with them,” Rajnath Singh said.

He further added that PM Modi’s government is working on developing better and smooth commuting facilities for the people in the country, especially in the North-East areas.

“PM Modi’s government is working on developing better and smooth commuting facilities for the people in the country, especially in the North-East areas. These roads are significant from the strategic point of view too,” Singh said.

He further added that a large number of Armed forces personnel are deployed in areas where no transportation is available throughout the year, and in winter most of the roads get closed due to snowfall. These projects will provide extreme help in the delivery of rations, military equipment, and other help,

At the event, Singh also released the ‘Vision BRO@2047’ document that will guide the organization about its deadline and targets in the next 25 years. The document is a comprehensive study based on an analysis of BRO’s Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, and Threats. It will help BRO to achieve new capabilities with more power.

“I appreciate the role and contribution of BRO in strengthening Border Security. For example a few days back the situation we faced in the northern sector, and the way we faced adversaries, was not possible without adequate infrastructural development. Such situations will keep us inspired for the development of border areas. And I can proudly say that we have a dedicated organization-BRO for development in these areas,” he said.

He said that infrastructure development transforms lives the lives of f people living in Border areas it is a game changer for locals.

“In plains, the government is constructing smart roads but in many Border areas roads are scarce. Many areas even don’t have basic tracks. In such remote areas, the government has initiated several welfare schemes along with basic civic amenities like electricity, telecommunications, education, and health that require connectivity,” Singh said.

“Despite being beautiful and full of natural resources, the entire North East region remained ignored from development. Even after several years of freedom, the region was ignored in the name of security issues or connectivity and remains deprived of basic facilities and it has largely affected the economy of the region,” he said.

The Defence Minister said that the North-East region is important not only for the development of the entire nation but is a gateway to east Asia and strengthens relations with East Asia in terms of trade, travel, and tourism. For this reason, the development of the region is the priority of the government

“A total of 28 projects at the cost of Rs 724.3 crore are being undertaken by BRO across the country in strategic locations – including eight in Ladakh, two in Rajasthan, three each in Uttarakhand and Punjab and four have been identified in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lauded the spirit and speed with which the BRO carried out development works in the recent past.

“The spirit and speed with which the BRO has carried out development works in the recent past are commendable. The plan to connect more and more border areas is the priority of the government, so that along with the development of the people living there, they can develop a sense of trust in the system,” said Singh.

Defence Minister further called the Border Roads Organisation actual brothers of the armed forces and people.

“I used to confuse BRO (Border Roads Organisation) with ‘Bro’ means brother but after seeing the work they are doing, they are actually brothers of our Armed forces and people,” he said.

The visit comes a month after Indian and China troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector.

The 100-metre-long Siyom bridge over river Siyom is a strategically important bridge as it gives the military a strategic advantage in deploying troops to the far-flung areas of the Line of Actual Control. (ANI)

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New Chinese Foreign Min Qin

New Chinese Foreign Min Qin Seeks Improved Ties With India

China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang, in an op-ed piece for US-based magazine, The National Interest, has indicated that Beijing seeks to improve ties with New Delhi.

Days before replacing Wang Yi, Qin in an article titled “How China Sees the World”, referred to India-China border issues and said, “both sides are willing to ease the situation and jointly protect peace along their borders.”

The Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake in the west of the LAC, have hosted flashpoints in recent years. In the east in Tawang, the site of the latest scuffle, there are discussions about Buddhist holy sites whose control can have implications for China’s authority over Tibet and its next spiritual leader according to a report in Newsweek.

Recently, India and China held the 17th Round of Corps Commander Level Meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side on December 20 and agreed to maintain security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector.

“In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The MEA statement said the two sides agreed to stay in close contact, maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.

Qin, meanwhile also blamed the US for challenging the status quo on Taiwan, and Japan for altering the status quo in the South China Sea.

“China’s development means a stronger force for peace, not a growing power poised to ‘break the status quo’, as some call it. The tension across the Taiwan Strait was not created by the Chinese mainland breaking the status quo, but by ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and external forces continually challenging the status quo of ‘one China’,” Qin wrote.

“In the case of the East China Sea, it was Japan who attempted to ‘nationalize’ Diaoyu Dao ten years ago, altering the “status quo” between China and Japan by agreeing to put aside differences. In the South China Sea, the status quo is that regional countries are consulting on a code of conduct that will lead to meaningful and effective rules for the region,” he wrote.

Earlier, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a phone call with Qin, discussed the Washington-Beijing ties and keeping the lines of communication open.

Taking to Twitter, Blinken said, “Spoke by phone this morning with incoming People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Qin Gang as he departs Washington for his new role. We discussed the US-PRC relationship and maintaining open lines of communication.”

Qin, who was China’s ambassador to the United States, was appointed as the country’s new foreign minister on Friday.

This decision was made by the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, Global Times reported.

Qin, 56, replaced Wang, who is now a Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councillor, the report added.

On Thursday, the Chinese ambassador had warned Washington that it could face “military conflict” with Beijing over the future status of Taiwan.

“If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely will involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in a military conflict,” Qin told US-based publication NPR in his first one-on-one interview since assuming his post in Washington, last July.

Qin, who arrived in Washington last year at a time of bipartisan discontent with China, told NPR that any idea of “changing China” was always “an illusion”. (ANI)

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ITBP Guards Indo-China Border

ITBP Guards Indo-China Border, None Can Take An Inch: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday asserted that he is never worried about the India-China border as he knows that the ITBP personnel is guarding the borders there and “because of this, no one can occupy even an inch of India’s land”.

Shah was speaking at the inauguration of newly constructed buildings of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) here in Karnataka’s Devanhalli region and laying the foundation stone for a Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI) of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).
In his address, the Home Minister lauded the Himveers of ITBP for their dedicated service to the nation and said the government has been undertaking all possible steps to make the service conditions of the jawans better.

He said that ITBP serves in very difficult conditions and the nation knows the jawans as ‘Himveers’.

“The ITBP has been doing yeomen service to the Nation by keeping the toughest borders on the Himalayas safe in inhospitable conditions,” said the Home Minister.

“People have bestowed ITBP jawans the title of ‘Himveer’ which is bigger than Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan.”

Shah said: “No one can occupy even an inch of India’s land as he knows that the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel are guarding the frontiers.”

His remarks came days after the December 9 clashes along the Line of Actual Control between the Indian and Chinese forces at the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Prahlad Joshi; Chief Minister of Karnataka, Vasavraj Bommai; Home Minister of Karnataka, Araga Jnanendra; Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Minister, Karnataka, K Sudhakar; DG ITBP Anish Dayal Singh; and DG BPR&D, Balaji Srivastava, were also present on the occasion.

Shah’s remarks came days after the recent clash near Yangtse along the LAC in the sensitive sector took place after the over 30-month border standoff between the two sides in eastern Ladakh.

“On December 9, PLA troops contacted the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang Sector which was contested by own (Indian) troops in a firm and resolute manner. This face-off led to minor injuries to few personnel from both sides,” the Indian Army had said in a statement earlier this month.

“Both sides immediately disengaged from the area. As a follow up of the incident, own (Indian) commander in the area held a flag meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquillity,” it had said.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told in parliament that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh and unilaterally change the status quo but they went back to their locations due to timely intervention of Indian military commanders.

Giving a statement in the House, the Defence Minister had also assured the Upper House that “our forces are committed to protecting our territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it”. (ANI)

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Indian Army china

Amid Chinese buildup, Indian Army Built Infra For 450 Tanks, 22,000 Additional Troops

Amid reports of Chinese buildup across the Line of Actual Control, the Indian Army has built infrastructure for housing 450 tanks and over 22,000 troops in the Eastern Ladakh sector opposite China, defence sources said.

The sources said that to counter the Chinese aggressive movements in the Pangong Tso lake which is both in India and China, the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineer has inducted new Landing Crafts in both Eastern Ladakh which has given a huge impetus to the patrolling capabilities and induction in men and material. The assault craft can carry 35 troops or one keeps with 12 men.
“Habitat and technical storage to include assets for 22,000 troops and approximately 450 A vehicles/guns have been constructed in the last two years. Focus has now shifted to undertake the construction of Permanent defences and infrastructure to improve defence preparedness in extant working season apart from completion of ongoing projects,” defence sources said here.

Speaking about the permanent defences being built along the borders, Indian Army’s Engineer in Chief Lt Gen Harpal Singh said: “3D-printed permanent defences have been constructed for the first time by Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers in the desert sector. These defences were trial tested against a range of weapons from small arms to the main gun of T90 tank.”

He added that such defences are able to withstand blasts, can be erected within 36-48 hours, and can be relocated from one place to another.

“With this, trial for similar permanent defences have also been carried out at eastern Ladakh and found to be useful,” he said.

Highlighting the infrastructure development being done by the Border Roads Organisation along the China border, defence sources said that presently nine tunnels which include a “2.535 Km long Sela tunnel, which will be the highest bi-lane tunnel in the world once completed. 11 more tunnels are also under planning.”

“The BRO has been entrusted with the task of constructing one of India’s highest airfields at Nyoma which is very close to the China border and will boost Indian capabilities there,” they said. (ANI)

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Weekly Update: A Bridge Too Near; Stealing Xmas; Priti Wants No More Pritis

China seems in a rush to get to the border in case Modiji calls them for chai and talks at the army posts. Or China wants to get its army to the border quicker when it decides it has had enough of talks and wants to start a bit more of territory that doesn’t really belong to it. So it is building a bridge over the lake Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh, an area it took over in 1962 in Sino-Indian war. China claimed that the land east of the current line of actual control belongs to it.

There has been dispute over this for a long time. In classic British ambivalence, the lines were never properly sorted. The British gave a considerable part of that region and some of Tibet to Raja Gulab Singh on paper but didn’t quite send a letter to China. Subsequently they drew new broders but apart from one border, the Royal Mail delivery didn’t reach China. So China is sticking by what it received in 1850s.

In fact Raja Gulab Singh under Maharajah Ranjit Singh had conquered quite a bit of land east of the current LOC in 1842. It seems the British redrew the boundary.

Now China wants a trade route to Karachi port to transport toys and other things made by its manufacturers. Lots of Middle Eastern people want toys and of course mobile phones and other China made things. Transporting these goodies through Karachi to Europe and Africa is also easier rather than ships going all the way through South China Sea. Hence the Belt and Road initiative is quite dear to China. Whereas India says it goes through the territory which was historically its (Ranjit Singh’s Kingdom).

So China is building a bridge to connect the northern beach of Lake Pangong Tso with the southern part. It’s only about 15 km inside the LOC. This will save some 6-8 hours of drive for the People Liberation Army (PLA) so they won’t have to go around the lake. They can get straight to the area of confrontation. Not looking good.

Stealing Christmas From Kids

The Bhakts seem to have found another distraction to promote their very intolerant-tolerant creed. Boasting of a tradition that is accepting of all, they decided that others too need to be like that. So they crashed into a kids Christmas event at a Church. There they gave the confused little ones a lecture on theology, philosophy and history and at the end told them to say Jai Sri Ram.

Kids are kids. They are still learning. They probably thought this was all part of an act. Or they were frightened and decided to chant what the Bhakts were saying, sensing that their Christmas has been hijacked in the name of pluralism or Hinduism or Hindutva.

This is turning the whole idea of Hinduism on its head. For decades, if not centuries, Hindus have been proudly saying that Hinduism is one of the most tolerant, accepting and pluralist of all religions and belief systems. But to barge into some other religion’s holiest celebration, take it over, frighten the children, the ladies (the nuns) and the elderly and force them to chant for your own religion is a new for the civilisation that Bhakts are proudly promoting as greatest. Stealing Christmas. Or they have misunderstood the Vedas. Shouldn’t the Mahasabha be talking to them?

Priti Doesn’t Want Other Pritis

UK’s Boris Johnson is so desperate for trade deals these days that he and his wannabe Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss are willing to sign a deal with India and give study and work visas to the whole of India if Modi wants. Its quite a turn around when UK wouldn’t ever hear of letting a few hundred Indian students work after finishing their education. Times change.

However it is not so easy. Priti Patel, doesn’t want more Indian in UK. There might be too many Pritis then in Britain. Well, she doesn’t want any more immigrants in UK, be they Indian, African or whoever. She is trying her best to turn the illegal boats bringing migrant people from Europe back to France. She is not having success. She is the Home Minister.

It is all a bit strange. Priti Patel was much feted in India when she became the Home Minister. From Gujrati background like Narendra Modi, there was hope that she would make it easier for Indians to come to UK for further studies in interest of knowledge transfer. It was generally thought that she might persuade her cabinet colleagues that it will be in every one’s interest. Yet it’s her opposing the very idea! And surprisingly it is Liz Truss, a right wing politician, who appears to be more in favour of letting more Indians into the country. Politics has many twists.