India-China standoff: Rajnath holds crucial meet with CDS, NSA & Service Chiefs

Ladakh, July 17 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inspects a Pika machine gun, at Stakna in Leh on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a crucial meeting with Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat and three service chiefs — Indian Air Force, Army and Navy — to discuss the present situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). NSA Ajit Doval also attended the meet.

This meeting was held just hours after India and China issued a joint statement agreeing to a 5-point consensus to deescalate tension along the border following the bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow.

Highly placed sources say detailed brainstorming was held on how to consolidate positions gained at border. The issue of induction and deployment of Rafale jets also came up for discussion.

India and China have incidentally agreed on a five-point plan for resolving the prolonged border standoff along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. The five-point plan includes abiding by all existing agreements and protocol on management of the frontier, maintaining peace and tranquility and avoiding any action that could escalate matters.

“The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed, therefore, that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions,” Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on the outcome of Jaishankar-Wang meeting.

Meanwhile, former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair said on Friday that India should ramp up its space assets and enhance coverage of the region to keep pace with the changing times. This assumes significance in light of the ongoing border tussle and China’s belligerent posture so far.

ALSO READ: As both sides arrive at 5-point consensus, India tells China to ensure border disengagement

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