New Delhi: A solution to the "deadlock" at Doklam between India and China would be found soon, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said as he made it clear that the country was well equipped to protect its sovereignty.
The minister, while speaking at an event of the Sino-India border guarding force ITBP here, said he hoped that China would make a positive move to resolve the issue.
"There is a deadlock going on at Doklam between India and China. I believe there will be a solution soon. I hope China will undertake a positive initiative (to resolve the stand-off)," he said. The minister said the world knew that India had never cast an evil eye on any country, had never attacked a nation nor did it harbour any expansionist attitude.
"We never want to expand our borders...but I can say that our security forces and defence forces possess all the might to protect our borders," Singh said.
India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area.
China claimed it was constructing the road within their territory and had been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau.
Bhutan says Doklam belongs to it but China claims it to be its territory.
China had been ramping up rhetoric against India over the last few weeks demanding immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam. The Chinese state media, particularly, had carried a barrage of critical articles on the Doklam stand-off slamming India. The minister, in the same breath, lauded the bravery and grit of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), saying it was due to their prowess on the border that "no one can dare cast an evil eye on India".
The ITBP is tasked to guard the 3,488-km long Sino-India border and works under the command of the home ministry. The minister went on to say that India had always believed in having good relations with its neighbours and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his swearing-in ceremony in 2014, had invited all the premiers of the neighbouring countries. This move was not just to shake and join hands but to bring together hearts, he said.
"India has taken the initiative (of friendship with neighbours) many times. Our former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee used to say friends can change but not neighbours. He said we should have good relations with our neighbours. Hence, I want to give this message to all our neighbours that we don't want struggle but peace," Singh said.
The home minister, during the event, officiated as the chief guest where promotion for 1,654 ITBP officials, across various ranks, was announced. Singh himself put the new ranks on the shoulders of few personnel during the pipping ceremony, also attended by his deputy in the ministry Kiren Rijiju.
He also expressed concern that these promotions, announced on Monday, were delayed for the last six years and he promised that it would be his effort that promotions and other welfare measures for the troops were not obstructed or delayed in the future.
"It was your right to get promotions on time but despite the delay your never complained and your morale was high. A timely promotion is important for boosting morale. I appreciate your dedication towards your duty," he said. He recounted his 2015 visit to an ITBP border post in Ladakh where he found that troops were in their full spirits on the line of duty despite the harsh and cold climate in the region.