Sunday - August 20th, 2017

Doklam row: Armed forces are prepared to face any eventuality, Arun Jaitley assures Lok Sabha

New Delhi: In the wake of an Army face-off and chill in ties with China over Dokalm standoff, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today assured the Lok Sabha that the armed forces are prepared to face any eventuality.

In response to a question on reports of troop movements in Tibet by China amid the on-going Doklam standoff and a senior Army officer's statement that Pakistan's defence industry was better than India's, Jaitley said the armed forces have adequate defence equipment to tackle any exigency.

"Our defence forces are ready to take on any eventuality," he said without making any specific reference to Doklam.

Replying to a question on a CAG report which had recently flagged that the Indian Army was facing a critical shortage of ammunition that can last just 10 days of war, teh Defence Minister said significant progress has been made on this front thereafter, but did not elaborate, adding that "Nobody should have a doubt on that."

India and China are engaged in the standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction since June after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

India has said Beijing's action to "unilaterally determine tri-junction points" violated a 2012 India-China pact which says the boundary would be decided by consulting all the concerned parties.

The two countries share a little over 200 km of border in the Sikkim sector.

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