Defence Minister Reviews Operational Preparedness In The Northeast

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Visits Jamnagar Air Force Station, Sits In MiG-29 Fighter

On Saturday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Nathu La area on the Sino-India border.

"Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La", she tweeted.

In the video, she is seen greeting the People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers at the Nathu La border post in Sikkim with a "Namaste" - the Indian form of greeting - and having a pleasant chat.

However, recent reports say that only India withdrew its troops while a large number of Chinese soldiers are still present in Doklam and also constructing a road. Cutting short an Indian Army official who tried to explain to the Chinese what it meant, she told him, "Let them explain, they know what it is".

Mrs Sitharaman also visited the Gajraj Corps Head Quarters where she was briefed by GOC Gajraj Corps Lt Gen AS Bedi on the overall security situation in Assam and the Kameng Sector of Arunachal Pradesh and the operational preparedness of the Corps.

The friendly interaction of India's top official with Chinese troops at the border comes days merely weeks after India and China ended their two-month-long stand-off in Doklam over a land dispute in the region. During her visit, which also coincided with the 85th Air Force Day, the defence minister interacted with the "air warriors" and reviewed the "operational readiness" of the Tezpur airbase where Sukhoi fighter aircrafts and other IAF assets are stationed. The Minister reiterated the Government's resolve to give further impetus to development in the border areas.

Sitharaman is scheduled to meet Sikkim Governor Sriniwas Patil and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at the Raj Bhavan and they are likely to discuss several issues related to defence in the border areas with China, the officials today said.



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