Prime Minister addressed the combined commanders’ conference in Kochi on board INS Vikramaditya (air craft carrier).
This is the first time that our Prime Minister is speaking outside Delhi to the combined commanders. The PM seems trying to fill the gap of interaction between the top govt echelons and the military.
The PM has paid gratitude to the role played by the military in the Indian history. He touched upon issues from a broad spectrum ranging from national security to terrorism to welfare of armed forces personnel to East Asia/West Asia/Koreas/ASEAN etc.
With regard to Pakistan, PM highlighted the efforts being made by India to rewrite history in terms of relations with Pakistan – to curb terrorism, encourage friendly relations, speedy resolution of pending cases etc. despite the fact that India’s Pakistan policy has gone through various highs and lows since the Modi govt took over last year.
PM said, “At a time when the major powers are reducing their forces and relying on technology, we are still constantly seeking to expand the size of our forces.” This is an indirect reference to more expenditure and expansion being done on man-power rather than moving towards agile, mobile technology driven armed forces.
In an atmosphere where it is being said that Japan’s overtures with India are to contain the “China factor”, PM Modi has unequivocally cleared the air of such scepticism and highlighted the economic potential of India-China relations. He also said that India is willing to constructively engage China in ensuring border stability and peace.
India has a serious deficiency in higher defence management. Many retired generals in the past have pointed out this to the govt. But nothing has happened at the ground level in terms of human resource or defence inventory expansion. PM Modi, now, has said that, it was a priority area for him to deal with the higher defence management.