NEW DELHI: As the Indian and Chinese militaries are engaged in face off over a disputed site in the Sikkim, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the Indian armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge to the country's security as he underlined that lessons have been learnt from the 1962 war.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said India had "learnt a lesson" from the 1962 war with China that "the armed forces will have be made fully capable on our own because even today the nation faces challenges from our neighbouring countries."Compared to 1962, the armed forces were made stronger in 1965 and 1971 wars, Jaitley said.
Meanwhile, army sources denied reports of any unusual troop movement towards the disputed territory and maintaining the status quo in the sector. Two brigades were already moved further up as army’s summer deployment.
“We are keeping close watch on the movement of Chinese military. So far, there is no unusual movement on all four sectors facing China. Even, China has also not made any major troop movement towards forward locations,” said a source.
However, in Parliament, Arun Jaitley, while initiating a special debate to mark the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942, said India had faced many challenges over these decades but "we can proudly say the country became stronger with each challenge".
"I agree that some challenges are still there. Some people are targeting our country's sovereignty and integrity. But I am fully confident that our brave soldiers have capabilty to keep our country secure, may it be challenges on the eastern border or the western border," he said.
"The armed forces can give any kind of sacrifice for the security of the nation," the defence minister asserted. Defence minister also referred to the occupation of parts of J&K by Pakistan soon after the Independence.
"Initially (after Independence), we faced a crisis. Our neighbour had an eye on Kashmir. Even today, we cannot forget that a part of the country has got separated. It is a wish of every Indian today as to how to retrieve that part," the minister said.