No Hasty Decision on Top Military Post

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  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Top government officials on Friday ruled out the possibility of taking a hasty decision on appointing a permanent chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), without assessing the mood of opposition parties.

    The move comes in the wake of rumours about naming Army chief General Bikram Singh to the post.

    All the three services -- the Army, Navy and the Air Force -- have earlier this month given their ‘concurrence’ to the need to have a permanent chairman of the COSC in view of the major task the office entails.Presently, the senior most among the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs also double up as the chairman of the COSC.

    Sources said there were several issues involved in appointing a permanent chairman of the COSC. “His status, rank, tenure, retirement age, etc., need to be discussed among various stakeholders. A decision will be taken only after a careful study,” they said, indicating that there was no political consensus in this regard.

    “Defence Minister A K Antony has written half a dozen times to various political parties on appointing a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). But there is no response from several parties and the indication is that most of them are not in favour of the idea,” sources said.

    The Defence Ministry is already holding consultations with political parties on appointing a five-star CDS, who would be the senior-most officer among the three armed forces and would act as the single-point adviser to the government on matters concerning the military.

    The CDS was one of the recommendations of the Group of Ministers appointed by the then NDA government to consider the proposals put forward by the Kargil Review Committee.

    The suggestion for the permanent chairman came from the Naresh Chandra Task Force, which studied the defence and security apparatus of the country and submitted its report to the government in 2012, as an interim arrangement till a political consensus arrived on the CDS.

    The permanent chairman of the COSC would head the tri-services defence formation such as the Strategic Forces Command that handle nuclear weapons and Andaman and Nicobar Command at Port Blair, apart from being the single-point contact representing the three armed forces for interaction with the political leadership.

    A decision on the permanent chairman of the COSC would have to be taken by Prime Minister-chaired Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), after a political consensus is arrived at. But the hitch is that the Defence Ministry is opposed to the Naresh Chandra Task Force’s recommendation in this regard.

    Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi had stated earlier this week that all the three services have agreed upon the need for creating a permanent chairman of the COSC as a ‘stop gap’ arrangement till the time the government decides upon creating the post of CDS.

    No Hasty Decision on Top Military Post - The New Indian Express
     
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