Thursday, December 13

Indian army only executes govt policies

Former Vice Chief of the Army Staff of India General (R) Moti Dar has said like any other country in the world with the parliamentary system of government, the Indian army has nothing to do with politics, neither it has anything to do with the entrepreneurship.
“Policies are decided by the government, and the Indian Army is only an executioner. It is meant for all areas strictly. There is a proper system. The policy is worked out by the government, approved by the Parliament and then the army executes it. We do not make a policy, and we have no right to do so, as we implement the policy. The government is answerable to the Parliament, which is the ultimate.”
To a question about how far the Indian army has a say in the government policies, especially the Kashmir policy, Gen Dar explicit said it had nothing to do with the policies, as it was a mere executioner. “Policies are decided by the government, and the Indian Army is the executioner only. It is meant for all areas. There is a proper system, that is, the policy is worked out by the government, approved by the Parliament and then the army executes it. We do not make a policy, and we have no right to do so, as we implement the policy. The government is answerable to the Parliament, which is the ultimate,” he said, while adding that India had the parliamentary system of democracy, and army was involved in politics. “Like any other country in the world, the army has nothing to do with politics, neither it has anything to do with the business deals. Professionalism is there, as we train throughout the year,” he maintained while replying to a question whether the Indian army was into various entrepreneurships. However, he did not comment the Pakistan army averring it was the domestic issue of Pakistan. “I will not offer comment on whether Pakistan army is policised or not. I am an outsider,” he said.
To a question “Does an Indian General retires?” he uttered a big ‘Yes’, but said it must not be made a pointed one. “We have followed our constitution of 1948 where role of everyone is prescribed, and everyone follows it in its true spirit. We had problems, but those are resolved accordingly,” he said.
“How does Indian army flex its muscles?” General Dar said it never flexed its muscles, because of the government’s control over it. “It will be incorrect to compare both pictures. Pakistan army is not only responsible for this; rather the politicians and the judiciary are also equally to be blamed for this. Why never did they stand up earlier?” he questioned.
General Dar, who concentrates on reading, writing and painting after retirement, to question about whether the nuclear arsenal was a real deterrent, maintained that it was a very controversial issue because no nation state had a right to use the nuclear option today. “We have seen that there have been wars fought since the World War-II between nuclear and non-nuclear states, and the nuclear states have won the war sans using the option. Ability to use nuclear weapons has been reduced considerably because the fallout is enormous,” he said, while adding that due to awareness about human rights, it was almost impossible to use nuclear weapons. “The non-nuclear states have been able to exploit other options, like conventional and unconventional means, and at times thrown out a nuclear weapon state. Deterrent is it to the degree that the other side even if it does not have a nuclear weapon, is not fully deterred from fighting to win. But the issue is that those who have the capability, assume that they are producing a deterrent against those, which have it. Hence it is a deterrent for both, who have the nuclear weapons,” he said.
General Dar underlined the need for using the nuclear energy for constructive purposes. “A large number of countries are vying to go nuclear, which may not be the wisest thing to do, and one can win a war sans being nuclear, but it is an old fallacy which is carrying on, and nations wish to acquire nuclear weapons,” he said.
To a question whether it was peculiar to Pakistan to attain nuclear capability against all odds, General Dar said it was not so. “It is with everyone, and the same goes with India as well. It is wiser to use nuclear energy for constructive purposes. For example, India is on the growth path with nine per cent growth. If we have to sustain this growth rate, energy is the most vital requirement. We are importing energy and subsidising it a great deal resulting into a huge loss to our state exchequer. Our need for nuclear energy is huge. So in hindsight, India has to grow, and there is no alternative but to have nuclear energy,” he averred.
To a question, whether India would not attack Pakistan considering the latter was a nuclear power, General Dar said countries, which were in closer proximity, and it was almost impossible. “Plus the dangers it entails! In the case of Russia and America, the time is any where between 25 to 30 minutes. And it is a sufficient time to decide whether a genuine one is coming or not. In case of India and Pakistan, it is a matter two or maximum five minutes. So its usage is almost ruled out. That is why we are also going into a series of talks to stop this. What if the happened to be East Pakistan (Bangladesh) once, such a case where the Indian army has a total run over, that sort of a situation will not arise between India and Pakistan ever with this deterrent there, but it is almost impossible to use the nuclear weapon,” he said.
About the Indian allegation of infiltration from across the border, and how far the Indian army had been successful in curtailing it, he said by and large the infiltration had been reduced to a great deal. “You know the terrain, a few people are always there to make through, and you cannot stop it 100 per cent. By and large, it has been successful in stopping the infiltration. We have to this summer because it is during this season it is up, and in winters, it goes down. At the end of the summer, we will see whether it has drastically gone down,” he added.
On the India-Pakistan d├ętente, and Pakistan’s observation that India had not budged even an inch from its original stance, General Dar negated the assertion by saying that there was definitely a change on both sides since General Musharraf came with certain ideas. “There have been constant attempts from both sides on reaching some sort of reconciliation on Kashmir, which has been an outstanding issue bugging both countries, and it is well-known on both sides of the border. There have been attempts and it is not that we have stuck to one line only, but behind the scene, there have been attempts to reach reconciliation,” he said, while quoting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that in the 21st century, the territorial issues had gone into the background, and socio-economic development had become important. “Whatever makes it important to improve this, that is the best policy. For example, Mr Singh had suggested that eliminate the line (Line of Control) dividing two Kashmirs, it is aimed at improving the socio-economic condition. To whom one area belongs does not really matter, what matters is people seeing themselves improving. This is Mr Singh’s stance, and that is what made it seem that some thing is not happening. Line dividing India and Pakistan carry no meaning today if you are doing trade and cultural exchanges. We have already lost many years in enmity,” he said.
To a question about denying right of self-determination to Kashmiris, General Dar refuted the query by saying how could it be said when elections had been held in Kashmir. “The Kashmiris have their own governments. When there was no violence we had elections, and army came only when the violence erupted. Any nation will do that. Even under these circumstances, free and fair elections had been held, which were praised by the international observers,” he said, while averring that the Kashmiris could say whatever they wanted in the assembly. “We have more regular elections than what Pakistan did. So it is for the Kashmiris to decide what they want. They are pretty happy with that. Certain political aspirations have not been addressed, which is like the situation in Balochistan. But it does not mean that they want to go out of the federation,” he maintained.
On India denying the UN Declaration on Plebiscite, General Dar said the plebiscite was totally out of times now. “Even there is a statement by General Musharraf that plebiscite is out. America, which had been repeatedly backing up Pakistan on this, has gone back asserting it as a no more a possibility. Even the Pakistan government has rejected it,” he added, while adding that the Indian government had said the plebiscite would be held after Pakistan would pull back from the whole Kashmir. “India went to the UN, when it was decided that Pakistan was the aggressor. It was said the plebiscite would be held after the Pakistan Army will leave the Kashmir, which Pakistan never did,” he said.
To a question as to why Shaikh Abdullah was put in jail, General Dar said it was a different story altogether.
On the possibility of war between India and Pakistan, General Dar said it was a remote possibility. He negated the assertion that by doing away with the armies, both countries could concentrate better on the development of their people. “Armies cannot be done away with in any modern state because threats are not only from one direction, rather they are many pressures and pulls,” he said.
On wars between two countries, General Dar said in 1948, 1965 and 1971 Pakistan was the aggressor. “Obsession with Kashmir was huge for Pakistan, and by doing away with, we can move towards socio-economic development. The Kargil war was unfortunate. 1965 was a draw although we had captured certain areas, and were returned back after the Tashkent Agreement. In 1971, we had a major victory, which led to 90,000 Prisoners of War. But again in all wisdom, Indira Gandhi agreed with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and returned PoWs. We got nothing in return except 20 years of peace till insurgency started in Kashmir,” he said.


Shirazi said...

Well discussed subject.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Indeed...

Mehalia said...

This is great info to know.