Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that the Defence Ministry has cleared the names of the new chiefs of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
Parrikar said that the names will be announced soon and added that it has to be approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
“I don’t see any reason why it has to be two months ahead… they are out of the top people in the forces. The Defence Ministry has cleared the names. It has to be approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet,” Parrikar said while speaking at an event in New Delhi on Friday.
The current Indian Army chief, General Dalbir Singh, and Indian Air Force chief, Air Marshal Arup Raha, are retiring on December 31. As per the convention, the service chiefs are named two months ahead of the impending retirement of incumbents.
As for the Indian Army’s September 28-29 surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan, Parrikar said, “The surgical strikes introduced a degree of uncertainty in the minds of our adversaries.”
“Earlier, one thing was very sure (that) India won’t cross (over),” he added.
As for the delay in the implementation of a committee’s recommendation for beefing up security at military bases, Parrikar said: “You can’t create the infrastructure overnight. The selection of technology is equally important. Those aspects are already being cleared out.”
A tri-services panel headed by former Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Philip Campose had pointed out deficiencies in security infrastructure. The panel took a close look at the issues involved and came up with upgraded standard operating procedures for all defence installations to prevent militant attacks.
The panel submitted its report to Parrikar in May.
Speaking on the Nagrota attack in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said: “It is very painful to see soldiers die…”
Speaking on the opposition’s questioning the attempt to hog credit for the surgical strikes, he said: “I am not taking credit for the strikes. I am taking credit for the capacity to take a decision.”
Regarding clearance of the defence procurement backlog, the minister said that he could not clear the entire backlog.
“What we have ordered today has to be catered for in the next five to seven years,” he said.