Bureaucracy-military ties, use of social media worrying: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

On the suicide of retired Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, Parrikar told The Indian Express Thursday that he was “saddened by the incident” but it should not be politicised.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2016 4:00 pm
Manohar parriklar, parrikar, parrikar surgical strikes, surgical strikes, sensitivity, indians sensitivity, grown sensitivity, security, indian soldiers, indian army, india-pakistan, indo-pak, india-pakistan border, LoC, india news, indian express Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI Photo

Concerned over the existing state of relations between the civilian bureaucracy and the armed forces, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said his “biggest worry is that discipline gets compromised when non-official channels are used to air serious issues”.

WATCH VIDEO: Here’s What Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Thinks Is A Matter Of Concern

On the suicide of retired Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, Parrikar told The Indian Express Thursday that he was “saddened by the incident” but it should not be politicised. The suicide has led to a political storm in Delhi, pitting the AAP and Congress against the BJP-led government.

He said the issue of pending OROP payments to one lakh ex-servicemen will be resolved within the next two months. “Within 18 months, we resolved the 43-year-old OROP issue to high satisfaction levels, and all pending issues will be resolved shortly,” he said.

“My biggest worry is that discipline gets compromised when non-official channels are used to air serious issues. And discipline is foremost for any uniformed force. I feel pained when social media is used to express concerns, without reaching out to us directly. Our government is sensitive to the cause of our soldiers. The anomalies will be rectified and the forces will get their due,” Parrikar said.

“There are appropriate forums to discuss and resolve serious issues, social media and other non-conventional platforms not being one among them. Most of the pending issues have been inherited by this government. Barring the disability pension, most other issues have their origin in the Sixth Pay Commission, which we are committed to resolve. It is inappropriate to allow vested interest groups to deliberately build a narrative that is factually baseless and devoid of merit,” he said.

“The military makes enormous sacrifices and makes our nation proud. But in a democratic set-up such as ours, the military has to co-exist and work closely with the civilian bureaucracy. Any trust deficit, or lack of respect between them will impair their abilities to serve their mandates and our people,” he said.

Parrikar believes that the current situation on the Line of Control (LoC) is an outcome of the jitteriness in Pakistan following the surgical strikes by the Indian Army on September 29. India, he said, is responding appropriately to ceasefire violations.

“After our action on the 29th (of September), there have been jitters on the other side of the LoC. Pakistan has been trying to flex its muscles, but we won’t take it lying down. Within our restraints, an appropriate response is being given by our forces,” he said.

While the ceasefire on the LoC since November 2003 has officially not been revoked, the two sides have been exchanging fire for the last month, leading to about a dozen civilian and military casualties. Last week, Indian Army said it had destroyed four Pakistan Army posts following an incident in which terrorists killed an Indian soldier in the Machil sector and mutilated his body.

A concrete proposal on creating the post of a single-point military advisor will be taken after studying the report of the expert committee headed by Lt General (retd) D B Shekatkar on ‘Combat Enhancement of Armed Forces’. The report, which was handed to the government last month, is currently being studied by the Defence Minister. The proposal will be accompanied by other proposals for integration of the three services, such that it also leads to a reduction in costs.

“Whether we call it CDS or a Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee is merely a matter of detail. The model is clear in our minds, but the final decision has to be made by the Cabinet. I hope to have a proposal ready soon,” Parrikar said.

He listed the streamlining of the defence acquisition process, taking up of newer acquisitions, pushing forward older acquisitions, issuing a new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), induction of the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and Dhanush howitzer guns, increased procurement and increased share of work for the MSME sector as his achievements in the last two years.

In the DPP chapter on strategic partnership in defence production, all concerns of the stakeholders will be taken on board and cleared soon, he said.

“The idea of strategic partnership is not to give out defence contracts. It is primarily to build a robust defence manufacturing ecosystem within India, with indigenous R&D, design, production, system integration and maintenance capabilities. All issues in that model have been addressed and most people are now on board,” he said.

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    Anil Kumar Singh
    Nov 4, 2016 at 3:35 am
    You will be and are responsible for such problems. You are licking the boots of IAS lobby to humiliate military br. You have no idea what damage have been done to the morale of Armed Forces by your senseless acts. Dogalapan seems to be in your blood. You take credit for surgical strike and next very day degrade the military ranks. This was done by congress in 1973 when after a heroic win by armed forces their pension was cut on insistance from Babus whom you are showing your deep loyalty to.
    Reply
    1. R
      Raj
      Nov 4, 2016 at 6:17 am
      Totally useless comment
      Reply
      1. V
        VP Joshi
        Nov 4, 2016 at 5:16 am
        Come through proper channel, so I can ignore you. Don't publicise my inaction, don't tell others what is your grievance!
        Reply
        1. A
          Abhijit Bhattacharya
          Nov 4, 2016 at 6:20 am
          The same social media brought you to power. Earlier, everything was discussed by you in the media to win election. Now, suddenly you are scared of SM. Instead, you should be grateful to SM. Moron
          Reply
          1. A
            Atis Mitra
            Nov 4, 2016 at 1:00 am
            Thoughts of our publicity hungry war minister
            Reply
            1. W
              What?
              Nov 4, 2016 at 5:45 am
              If you slept for 70 years . . . . can't you wait for further 10 years? . . di dyou pay the taxes on time for govt. to take decision on time?
              Reply
              1. D
                Dayanand
                Nov 4, 2016 at 5:36 am
                ANTI NATIONAL ANTI HINDU. EATING IN HINDUSTAN AND CURSE THE PATROTIC.HINDUS .THIS WHAT YOUR PARENTS TAUGHT U,,, AS YOUR PARENTS THEMSELF ARE ANTI INDAI AND ANTI HINDU. WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE BJP OR ELSE KASHMIR WOULD BE GIVEN BY CONGRES and APP TO STAN. CONGRESS and APP IS STAN DALALI. SHAME TO HAVE PEOPLE LIKE YOU. lt;br/gt;WE ARE PROUD TO BE HINDU AND INDIAN. DRINK STANI GANGA JUL. AND GO BACK TO . WE WIL BE VERY HAPPY.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Dayanand
                  Nov 4, 2016 at 6:25 am
                  FEEL SAD FOR THE SOLDIER. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE. HE HAVING SOME FINANCIAL, FAMILY BURDEN. BUT APP *and CONGRS ARE MAKING THEIR NUMBER FOR POLITICAL GAIN.... WILL BE VERY HAPPY CONGRESS MUKT BHARAT.
                  Reply
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