Doka La standoff has no influence on Cabinet's armed forces reforms, says Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: The reforms vis-a-vis the armed forces approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday have not been influenced by the standoff with China at Doka La, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said.

"A committee led by Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd) was formed much before this (Doka La standoff) and its recommendations were under consideration for long," Jaitley said.

The government had formed the committee to increase/improve the defence forces' teeth-to-tail ratio.

File image of Arun Jaitley. Reuters.

File image of Arun Jaitley. Reuters.

"The Shekatkar Committee submitted its report to the defence ministry in December 2016. We have since accepted 65 of its 99 recommendations," he added.

The minister refused to comment on the overall consequences of the Doka La standoff (that began on June 16 and continued for 75 days), saying the external affairs ministry had already made a statement on the issue.

"Given the sensitivity of the issue involved, it is not appropriate for me to comment. The external affairs ministry has already made a detailed statement and that is the government's official position," Jaitley said.

On 28 August, the external affairs ministry statement said: "In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doka La. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests.

"On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at face-off site at Doka La has been agreed to, and is ongoing."

Updated Date: Aug 30, 2017 19:32 PM

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