‘Winter is coming’, but Indian troops ready for long haul in Ladakh: Rajnath in LS

New Delhi (NVI): In response to Chinese actions at LAC and Beijing’s concerns over the well being of Indian troops in Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today delivered a strong message, saying that the Indian troops have been provided with all equipment, weapons and ammunition to survive icy heights and tough terrain in the upcoming winters.

While making a statement in the Lok Sabha today, the Defence Minister said that the Indian troops deployed at LAC in Ladakh are being provided with suitable clothing and equipment to deal with any weather condition, since they have survived such weather for years in Kargil and Siachin.

“The determination of our troops is praiseworthy.  They are capable of serving at forbidding altitudes with scarce oxygen and in extremely cold temperatures, something that they have effortlessly done over the last many years on Siachen, and Kargil,” Rajnath told the parliament.

The Defence Minister’s statement on the preparedness of Indian troops at LAC, with the approaching winter, come days after an editorial by Chinese State-run Global Times claimed that Indian soldiers will face the threat of freezing temperatures and uncontrollable epidemic (Covid-19).

The Chinese State media had further claimed that Indian troops’ logistics are incomparable to that of the PLA.

“In high-altitude areas, India does not have the ability to make a large number of troops over the winter, which means many Indian soldiers will face the threat of freezing temperature and the uncontrollable epidemic. Indian troops’ logistics are incomparable to that of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” The Global Times said in the editorial published on September 10.

While responding to China’s ‘concerns’ Rajnath said, “I can assure you that the morale and motivation of our Armed Forces is very high. The reassuring visit by our PM has ensured that our commanders and soldiers understand that the entire nation stands behind them in support of the just cause of defending our territorial integrity. They are accordingly being provisioned with suitable clothing, habitat and the required defence wherewithal.”

“I will not hesitate to share with this august House that we are facing a challenge in Ladakh and I urge the House to pass a resolution in support of our Armed Forces who have been defending our motherland at great heights and most inclement weather conditions in Ladakh for our safety and security,” he added.

“This is a time when this august House has to come together and reiterate confidence and faith in the valour of the brave armed forces and support them in the mission that they have undertaken to protect the territorial integrity of our motherland,” Rajnath said while concluding his statement on Ladakh in the parliament.

Amid an escalating border row with China, more than 50,000 Indian troops are likely to remain stationed through winter months to deal with any provocation by China’s PLA. With no end in sight to the tense stand-off in Ladakh, Indian troops have also ramped up efforts to boost border infrastructure to deal with any situation.