Ladakh BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal has said that the development in the region has taken a hit due to the successive wars fought in the cold desert and its people want peace now. But, he asserted, that Ladakhis are "true patriots" and will not back out if it comes to another military confrontation to uphold the sovereignty of the country.
"Ladakh will welcome every decision of the Centre. However, I feel the issues with neighbouring countries should be resolved peacefully," the 34-year-old MP said when asked about Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's recent statement that India can reconsider its no-first-use nuclear policy.
Ladakh has borne the brunt of several military confrontations and has not been able to recover from the damage caused in the successive wars, he said.
"It takes a lot of effort and time to rebuild lives and infrastructure. We want peace. But if it comes to war and there's no other option, the Ladakhis will not back out. We are true patriots," Namgyal, who shot to fame after his impassioned speech on Article 370 in Parliament, said.
"Ladakh has been part of every war India fought, be it in 1947-48, 1962, 1965, 1971 or 1999. Many people view it as a battleground. Because of these wars, development in the region has taken a hit," he added. Asked about Pakistan and China opposing the decision to scrap Article 370, Namgyal said, "It's an internal issue concerning the development of a region and if our neighbours are unhappy about it, we cannot do anything."
The first-time parliamentarian had earlier said the region did not get due importance in defence policies under the Congress rule because of which "China has captured its area up to the Demchok sector".
"Jawaharlal Nehru formulated the 'forward policy', which said we should move towards China inch by inch. During its implementation, it became a 'backward policy'. The (Chinese troops) continued to intrude into our territory and we continued to retreat," Namgyal had told PTI.
"It's the reason Aksai Chin is completely under China. The People's Liberation Army personnel have come up to Demchok's 'nullah' because Ladakh didn't get due importance in defence policies in the 55 years of Congress rule," he had said.
Namgyal had also claimed that the Congress governments ruined Kashmir by following the policy of "appeasement" in hostile situations and Ladakh became "collateral damage".