Leh: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday (August 26) said India has always been against terrorism and expansionism and can defend its borders.
Birla is in Ladakh for the Parliamentary Outreach Programme for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the Union Territory, said expansionist policies lead to dispute on borders, and India has always been against expansionism.
The actions of the Chinese Army had resulted in the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh last year. The two sides have resolved two major friction points in Pangong lake and Gogra heights, and another round of military talks may be held soon for resolution in the Hot Springs area.
"India is capable of defending its borders. Our brave soldiers are guarding the borders. India always gives the message that all countries develop, democracy gets strengthened but there should not be an expansionist policy," he said.
Referring to Pakistan's support to cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the challenges posed by the changed situation in Afghanistan, he said India has always pitched for an end to terrorism in the world.
"The land of Ladakh gives a message of peace. I hope that all countries will make an action plan to end terrorism by strengthening democracy," he said.
He said democracy has been strengthened after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, and the government wants early assembly elections.
He said there have been elections to panchayats and local bodies, and the government has said that the electoral process will pick up momentum after talks with political parties following delimitation.
"Ladakh's development should be done according to the geographical location and expectations of the people," he said.
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