Editorial: Nation first

Following a recent controversy over his comments on CAA-NRC, newly-appointed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said the armed forces stay far away from politics and work as per the directives of the government in power.

His remarks have come amid allegations that the forces were being politicised and it is good that he chose to clear the air and put full-stop to the row. He also said that his focus as the CDS will be to integrate the efforts of the three services and to work as a team.

”I want to assure you, that the Army, the Navy and the Air Force will work as a team. The CDS will keep control over them, but action will be taken through teamwork,” said Gen Rawat after receiving a Guard of Honour by the three services.

Asked about allegations that the Army was being politicised and questions being raised by the Congress over the creation of the CDS’ post, he said, ”We stay away, we stay far away from politics. We work on the directives of the government in power.”

The Congress on Tuesday had raised several questions over the appointment of Gen Rawat as the CDS, saying the government has started on a ‘wrong foot’. Some Opposition politicians have accused Gen Rawat of having political leanings.

Gen Rawat, who took charge as CDS on Wednesday, said his focus will be to ensure best and optimal use of resources allocated to the three services. ”The task cut out for the Chief of Defence Staff is to integrate the three services and enhance their capability. We will continue working towards that,” he said.

”The CDS will not try to run a force by his directions. Integration is needed. We have to ensure that 1+1+1 combine of the three services adds up to 5 or 7 and not 3. You have to achieve more through synergy and integration, that is the aim of the CDS,” Gen Rawat said.

Apart from giving attention to integration and joint training, he said efforts will be made to ensure uniformity and integrating of systems for procurement so that the Army, the Navy and the Air Force can work in coordination with each other. Good signs, indeed.

NT Bureau