Rajnath termed the standoff as a "unilateral attempt made to change the status quo”. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday revealed that the India-China standoff at Ladakh, which started last year, had become "very critical".

Rajnath was addressing the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. The Narendra Modi government had been criticised by the opposition for not providing information on the alleged incursions by China.

Rajnath was quoted by ANI as saying, "During India-China border standoff, when Chinese forces were trying to march ahead, I spoke to the Army chief around 11pm... The situation was very critical. In that situation too, the way our forces behaved prudently is commendable."

Rajnath did not give details of the purported call to Army chief General M.M. Naravane or when it occurred. In June last year, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese forces at Galwan, which also led to at least four Chinese casualties. The Galwan clash was the first fatal clash between the two sides in five decades. In late August 2020, the Indian Army took control of the Kailash Range in a swift operation.

Lauding the Indian Army's stance in the standoff with China, Rajnath declared, "With this, our security forces once again proved that we are committed to facing any enemy anytime and in any situation, to ensure our national security, regardless of the cost."

Rajnath termed the standoff with China as a "unilateral attempt made to change the status quo on the border". He emphasised the Indian military "faced our adversary with a new dynamism".

Speaking about Pakistan, Rajnath touted the impact of the surgical strike in 2016 and the Balakot airstrike in 2019. "If a ceasefire (between India and Pakistan) is successful today, it is because of our strength. In 2016, cross-border strikes changed our reactionary mind set into a proactive mind set, which was further strengthened by the Balakot airstrike in 2019," Rajnath said.

Rajnath declared, "The belief that India would not only end terrorism on its own land but also not hesitate to conduct counter-terrorism operations on their land if needed, is gradually becoming stronger."

Rajnath also spoke about the situation in Afghanistan in his speech. He said, "The changing equation in Afghanistan is a challenge for us... These situations have forced our country to rethink its strategy. We are changing our strategy and the formation of Quad underlines this strategy."