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Former Army chief calls for speedy resolution of border row with China

New Delhi, Sat, 21 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 21 (ANI): Former Army Chief and Arunachal Governor J.J Jaswant Singh has underscored the need to resolve the long-standing border dispute between India and China in a mutually amicable manner.

Calling for enhanced bilateral ties, Singh said he was positive the two nations would speed up the process to resolve their decades-old border row.

"There is a great potential for us to resolve our boundary dispute in an amicable manner and in a pragmatic manner and in a framework, which has been agreed to by the leadership of both countries, that this is the framework in which we will discuss (the differences). People who are entrusted with this task, I am quite positive (they) are doing a good job, they are doing their best and let us hope that they hasten up the pace," Singh told ANI.

He further asserted that India was fully prepared to defend its territorial integrity against external threats.

"The situation is what has been in the past. They come and show their presence in certain disputed areas, which are perceived by them as theirs and our patrols go similarly to certain areas, which we perceive is ours. So, there is no, shall we say, reduction in either our approach, how we will defend our country, secondly, nor about our preparations to safeguard our territorial integrity. The preparations for the defence of our country and our preparedness is, as you know, taking care of future challenges," he added.

Reflecting on his recent controversial statement at a seminar, in which he urged India to 'climbdown' on its 'non-negotiable' stand over its territory vis-a-vis China, Singh said: "I spoke in a seminar, which was an academic exercise by the Rajiv Gandhi University and another organisation in Arunachal Pradesh. I gave the inaugural address, which comprised my experience, my personal views, and therefore I do not want it to be taken as I was speaking on behalf of the government."

"So, I gave my understanding of the current situation of the boundary dispute, as I am also a student of Indo-China boundary dispute as a military man as also a national," he added. (ANI)

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