A WELCOME DECISION

Security arrangements at Indian military establishments being dynamic in nature especially in view of the terror attacks on Army camps and other defence installations besides the recent incidents of China’s standoffs on border there is a dire need for maintaining a robust and strong response mechanism to the emerging threats. In this regard the unprecedented move by the Ministry of Defence to delegate substantial financial powers to the Armed Forces for undertaking works for perimeter security of sensitive military installations is the most welcome step. As a consequence of this historic delegation of substantial financial powers the vice-chiefs of the three services have been empowered to place orders, procure equipment and carry out civil works without seeking approvals of the defence ministry. This measure is undoubtedly aimed at ensuring that there is no scope for administrative delays in case of urgent situations besides boosting security at the sensitive installations especially the ones along Indian borders. The Indian defence force is globally acknowledged as one of the best disciplined forces and the saviours have displayed exemplary sacrifices during the past over two decades of militancy in J&K besides that of their outstanding role in all the wars against the nation’s neighbours Pakistan and China. The humility and humanitarian approach and attitude can be well judged from the Operation Sadhbhavana being a classic example in this regard. Having championed the fundamentals of War and Peace, it superbly hushes the guns of terrorists by scattering counterinsurgency grid in entire affected areas and then launches this operation to connect with people struck by instability. Most probably it is the only army in the world that has been working relentlessly under its unique project Operation Sadhbhavana providing succour to people in the most hostile environment. It is really worth appreciation that despite a wave of hate against the forces the Army under its Operation Sadhbhavana continues to serve the needy people of this state especially in the remote and far flung areas where even the successive elected governments failed to provide any succour to the people during normalcy. Thus these saviours of the nation do not only deserve kudos for this noble cause as well as for their role on the battle front but the nation needs to ensure that there is absolutely no hindrance in their endeavours to keep the nation and its people secure. After all Army belongs to people and we have the Government of the people, for the people and by the people which implies that Govt shall leave no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of these saviours on whom the Nation depends. In consequence of today’s decision by the government the three service chiefs have been authorised to spend annually R 800 crore each for security infrastructure of sensitive bases and installations. It is pertinent to mention here that a security audit of defence bases was carried out on the recommendation of a committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose which was set up after the terror attack on the forward Pathankot air force base last year. The committee was asked to recommend measures to beef up security at the military bases while the armed forces had together sought R 2,000 crore to strengthen security infrastructure at all highly sensitive, sensitive and moderately sensitive bases during the current and following financial years. A parliamentary panel had in March come down hard on the defence ministry for failing to take any concrete measures to beef up security at frontline military bases, and said the scenario is as vulnerable as has been exposed during the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks despite the Campose Committee having submitted its report to the defence ministry last May. Therefore this decision having come at a time when Indian Army is locked in a face-off with the Chinese Army at Dokalam and confronting rising incidents of cross border attacks in Jammu and Kashmir is a landmark initiative of the incumbent government as it will undoubtedly boost the morale of the saviours who are away from their families prepared 24X7 for the supreme sacrifice for Mother India.