ARMY CHIEF STANDS BY HIS REMARKS
‘Developmental, Administrative Initiatives Needed In JK’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Shillong, July 19: Despite facing criticism, Army Chief V K Singh Monday stood by his remarks on Jammu and Kashmir in which he was critical of the state’s political leadership in dealing with the situation.
“What I had said is that security forces have achieved a particular level of control of the situation. After that, various initiatives have to come, there are developmental and administrative issues,” Singh told reporters here when asked about the controversy. He said, “There are various kinds of initiatives that are needed to be taken to bring up the state.”
Singh’s comments on the political leadership had drawn ire of the National Conference president and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah who had said the Army chief should not make political comments.
Singh had last week said the “basic reason” for the prevailing tension in Jammu and Kashmir was the inability of the state’s political leadership to build on the “gains” that have been made by the security forces in the state.
“I think the army chief should never make statements. Army chief is there to keep silent and his job is to see that the army is alert and ready, he should not to make political statements and I am totally against any army chief or police chief making political statements. Political statements should come from politicians, who can answer in the assembly and who can answer in parliament,” Farooq had told a Delhi-based news channel on Friday while reacting to Gen Singh’s remarks on J&K.
‘ARMY NEEDS LEGAL PROTECTION’
Gen Singh said army personnel needed “certain legal protection” in “awkward” situations and it was up to the government on how it should be provided.
“We are not against the people or democracy. When you employ the army for situations which are awkward. Where they have to face well-armed, well-trained militants, they require a certain amount of legal protection. How that it is done, we leave it to the Central government,” Singh said when asked about the move to dilute certain sections of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Gen Singh said, “We can’t let our people get hauled to court. We cannot have our people being subjected to all kinds of allegation.”
“Wherever the army is operating, it is operating with its hands tied. We have to impose on ourselves certain restrictions because we are operating against our own people.”
“The army also needs assurances about its protection when things would go wrong,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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