New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday arrived in Leh for a two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to Leh t0 boost the morale of the troops posted there amid the ongoing standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Rajnath Singh Chairs Meet, Reviews Security Situation With CDS, Service Chiefs
Notably, it was the Defence Minister, who was to visit Leh on July 3 but postponed it at the last moment a day before to make way for PM Modi’s visit. Rajnath is being accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army chief General MM Naravane, both of whom accompanied PM Modi as well.
During his visit, he will visit the forward areas and be briefed by the Army Chief, Army Commanders and the Corps Commander on the latest on-ground situation after the disengagement process at the LAC. After Leh, he will leave for Jammu and Kashmir to to review the situation along the Line of Control (LoC).
Earlier today, before leaving for Leh, the Defence Minister had tweeted: “Leaving for Leh on a two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. I shall be visiting the forward areas to review the situation at the borders and also interact with the Armed Forces personnel deployed in the region. Looking forward to it”.
His visit comes at a time Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged from three of the four sites in eastern Ladakh where they were in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation-Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Gogra. However, tensions are expected to rise in the coming days as China has reportedly refused to step back from the Finger 4 area in Pangong Tso, the fourth site.
The two countries have thus far held four Corps Commander-level talks, including the latest one on July 14. Three previous rounds took place in June.