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16 years since Kargil, army still short of equipment

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New Delhi:  As the country marks the 16th anniversary of the Kargil war on Sunday, former army chief Gen. V.P. Malik, who headed the Indian Army during the conflict, says the force is still facing problems of shortage of weapons and equipment, though there has been much progress since 1999. IMG_0039

“There was a shortage of weapons and equipment during the Kargil war, the same problem persists today,” the former Army chief said.

“As I keep hearing, large number of deficiencies are there, and it (sorting out the problem) should be a priority,” he said.

Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, speaking at the Kargil war memorial at Dras, in Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday, said that shortage of clothing and equipment has been identified and it would be tackled soon.

A report of the parliamentary standing committee on defence recently painted a grim picture of modernisation plans of the Indian Army, giving a long list of shortages from wheeled guns, tanks, missiles, and ammunition, to basic amenities like bullet-proof jackets, night vision devices, and even mosquito nets.

The panel, in its report said the shortage of basic amenities includes shortfall of 2,17,388 high ankle boots, of 13,09,092 canvas brown rubber sole shoes with laces, 4,47,000 ski masks, and 1,26,270 number of mosquito nets.

Malik however added that the Army has come a long way from the 1999 conflict when India even lacked surveillance equipment along the border.

Asked about the difference between the situation in 1999, and today, the former army chief said: “The situation is different today; 1999 was different. There were no surveillance devices on the border, one had to walk from one post to other in the snow.”

“Today things are better, we have some sort of devices,” he said, adding that upgradation of equipment is needed.

Gen. Malik also mentioned that India has stationed more troops along the border now, a process that was started with raising of the 14 Corps after the Kargil war.

The former army chief also stressed on including the army in the decision making process, instead of being consulted only after a conflict starts.

“We must have military leadership in the decision making loop. Wars can happen suddenly, instead of consulting when something happens,” said the retired general.

“Political talks can be on, but the Army should be kept aware of the strategic environment,” he said.

The Kargil war was fought in the summer of 1999 to evict Pakistani regular forces who had intruded and occupied posts vacated for the winter on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on July 26.

The attack by Pakistan on the Indian side was seen as a long planned act, and while initially Pakistan blamed it on insurgents, documents found on the dead bodies and statements by Pakistani leaders and their army chief showed involvement of Pakistani forces.

In the conflict, the Indian Army lost around 500 officers, soldiers and jawans.

(IANS)

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Government apathy on OROP to hit morale: ex-army chief

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New Delhi: The government’s apathy to the protests seeking the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme will affect the morale of soldiers, former army chief V.P. Malik said on Sunday.

The general, who headed the army when the Kargil conflict took place in 1999, said keeping the morale of the forces high was key to winning any war.

“Taking care of the welfare (of soldiers) and keeping the morale of the armed forces high is very important… Though OROP affects ex-servicemen, the linkages in the army are very strong,” Malik told IANS.

“The government must take a decision soon… The agitation is going on in different cities. Sooner or later, it will impact serving soldiers.

“Kinship is very strong in army, I am retired but my son is in the army … Senior officers are worried as they will retire soon… The government should take action soon,” he said.

Sunday was the 42nd day of a relay hunger strike by ex-servicemen here demanding implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme.

Currently, pension paid to officers of the same rank differs, depending on when they retired.

(IANS)

 

4 responses to “Government apathy on OROP to hit morale: ex-army chief”

  1. Gen, you have a responsibility in this OROP mess because as Chief, you never raised your voice, directly or indirectly, against this discrimination and violated The second dictum engraved in the Chetwode Hall.

  2. These weak statements carry no wt if you wanted to make an impact you should have refused to attend the function yesterday at Mohali with the RM

  3. my self born in military hospital to a soldier displaced from PAKISTAN, who retired in DEC1965 as HAVILDAR, then joined as UDC being more qualified under DAD CGDA as Auditor, resigned under protest by refuseing to work under corrupt officers, accepted through court after 2 years and granted 31 years pension of combined services 18 military + 13 civil by CAT with no compensation for humination / harassment / discrimination, then GOI went to SC, where he faught his case being high court advocate since before that he had passed LLB & LLM but could not do practice due to non-acceptance of his resignation for more than 2 years, again injustice over injustice with poor soldier, SC DID NOT HEAR HIS PLEA AND DISMISSED BUT ever since he is fighting his case with GOI that his pension sanctioned in 1965 is more than that of 1979 sanctioned in 87 at today age of 87+ and not even being paid as per GOI ORDERS of JAN,2013 wef 24 SEP,2012, WHICH ARE TO BE PAID FROM 2006 JAN. It is here to mention that even no commander COAS, NO ESM ORGANIZATION HEADED BY OUR GENERALS, NO GOI OFFICIALS BOTHERED TO APPLY HIS MIND & HELP POOR MAN on his applications as well as mine, putting in front of them, self being member of all ESM organisations as as ex AIRMAN, nephew of a sailor retired in 1966, THEY ONLY TALK ABOUT ONLY OFFICERS, DISCRIMINATE US BY DECREASING OUR PAY& ALLOWANCES, PROMOTIONS, besides eating / taking every thing by hook & crooks methods , so are all bosses doing in the GOI, by giving little to poor & taking maximum and think / say that we poor down trodens do not have mind, thus mis-use their power / position etc made our BHARAT as india poor country, i can give / show how discrimination done with me, my father, uncle, son, family, and with all low class poor peoples of our country, by luring / showing them bright future but looting peoples of our country by one & all governments / parties not only here in our country, every where on this earth, making hell for others and being enjoyed by few only JAY HIND

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Is Indo-Myanmar operation a message to Pakistan?

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Manipur: The army team involved in 9th June army operation along the India-Myanmar border in which several militants were killed. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)
Manipur: The army team involved in 9th June army operation along the India-Myanmar border in which several militants were killed. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)
Manipur: The army team involved in 9th June army operation along the India-Myanmar border in which several militants were killed. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)

New Delhi: Even as voices emerged that the Indian Army operation against terrorists on the Myanmar side of the border contained a hidden message to Pakistan, experts said on Wednesday the scenario may not be the same on the Western border even though India has the capability to retaliate if provoked.

Asked if a similar approach could be replicated on India’s Western border, an official said the situation on both sides was different.

“Defence and security strategy is something that evolves after one thinks through all the consequences of action or inaction; hence any premature celebration over the Myanmar swatting of terror groups would not only be wrong, but foolish,” an official close to the security establishment said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

“We need to be clear that dealing with terrorists in Myanmar is different from dealing with the likes of the Lashkar-e-Taiba which has the active backing of the Pakistani army and the ISI,” the official added.

“What worked in Myanmar will not work on our western borders against jihadi groups. For that, we need covert guerrilla action, not direct attacks,” the official added.

Former Army Chief Gen. V.P. Malik (retd) said India had the capability, but such operation on the western border along with Pakistan may result in a small-scale war.

“We do have the capability (to launch similar attack along India-Pakistan border) but it does not mean we will react in that manner. It can escalate to a limited war, we have to be prepared for all those things in term of public opinion and international opinion,” Gen. Malik said.

Asked if both India and Pakistan being nuclear armed is a deterrent, Gen. Malik said: “A nuclear attack is unlikely as it will go against the whole world”.

Former Army Chief Gen. N.C. Vij, in an interview to India Today Television said: “We have the capability, and such operations on the Western front may be carried out if government is ready for the consequences.” (IANS)