Army chief briefs PM on security preparedness
Prime minister Narendra Modi was briefed about the army’s needs that has to be met on a ‘priority’ basis for maintaining its ‘force preparedness’ at a high level. General Bikram Singh, the outgoing chief of staff of the army on Friday let the PM view from the place, which is the heart of the country’s external and internal security, the operations room of the directorate general of military operations (DGMO). Time taken for the show: from 10:00 AM to 12 Noon.
Operations rooms of the security organisations are their brains; where command functions through communicational sinews and controls the bahaviour of the friendly forces on the ground, while the command is, round the clock, made aware of the intelligence information on the enemy’s disposition. The ops room is never deserted. Not even at 6:00 PM, when usually the monkeys play in the South Block headquarters.
PM Modi may have been taken a little amazed at the scale of the operations at DGMO, but surely he is not a stranger to ops room or ‘war rooms,’ as the various parties build them to run their political and election campaigns. Reportedly, during the recent general elections, Modi’s was the best run with the best staff!
Returning to the story of the army’s briefing, it ran on predictable lines with the threat perceptions coming first; force preparedness coming second thus telling the attendant decision-makers, Modi and Arun Jaitley, the defence minister how the army is prepared to face ‘any challenge.’
The situations of the North Eastern borders were discussed, so was the case with Jammu and Kashmir. Friday is also the day that Modi had sent a letter to the Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, commiserating with him about the Karachi International Airport attack by the Pakistan Taliban.
But then in the morning there was a ceasefire violation at Mandher sector on the LoC from the Pakistan side. Jaitley is headed there on Saturday.
So Modi and Jaitley must have mixed feelings about what the generals were trying to convey. For, as they seek to carve a new path with Pakistan – all the moves from oath-taking to the letter delivered on Friday – these little jolts like the firing on the LoC can stay the hand of friendship of the bravest.
A lot of importance was given to the internal security situation, especially in the North East and Kashmir, but one cannot confirm whether Armed Forces Special Powers Act was discussed. Nor can it be confirmed whether the PM and the defence minister gave any assurances about addressing what is a popular word in the army parlance, its ‘hollowness.’
General Bikram meets predecessor V K Singh
New Delhi: Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Friday also met his predecessor and Minister for Development of Northeast Region Gen (retd) V K Singh, who reportedly did not share good vibes with him, and discussed with him issues of mutual interest as the Army has substantial presence in the region. Army sources said the Army chief called on him at his office and the meeting lasted for close to 30 minutes.
‘It was a courtesy call which also involved matters of professional interests for both of them. As V K Singh was his predecessor, Bikram Singh wanted to congratulate him. Besides, the Army has a lot of stake in the Northeast region and so they discussed
matters concerning it as well,’ they said.