Asked if he would indeed resign, Singh retorted: “Please leave it to my judgement on what I want to do. It concerns me and I may decide on my action after thinking over it whenever I get the time.” Soon, another question popped up: Is this your last Army Day press conference as army chief? General Singh’s enigmatic reply: “I don’t know.”
In a clarification issued here after it was reported that Former Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh had favored correcting the birth records of the army chief in a letter to letter he wrote to Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony, the state Congress president said he had written the letter about a month ago putting forth his “opinion on the issue” only in his “personal capacity”.
The complaint’s 90-day mandatory period for a response ended a month ago, but Antony has maintained that he was not bound by the Army Act under which the statutory plea had been made by General Singh.
The fourth round of ADD, held after nearly two years, was led by India’s Defense Secretary Shashikant Sharma and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ma Xiaotian. The two sides also discussed defense exchanges for 2012 and agreed to “gradually enhance” the range and scope of their interaction, according to Indian defense ministry officials.
Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony Tuesday left for Japan on a daylong visit where he is expected to explore opportunities for furthering the bilateral military relations in global and regional security matters, maritime security, anti-piracy operations, counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance.
The prime minister will interact with the military top brass during the annual Combined Commanders Conference, which will also see an exchange of views on security and strategic affairs, keeping in view the scenario prevailing in the South Asian and Indian Ocean regions.
The proposed mechanism would comprise diplomats from the external affairs ministry and military personnel, including representatives of paramilitary and intelligence agencies.
Antony expressed India’s concern at the tardy progress made in the design and development of the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA). Both countries will now meet again later this month to speed up work on the project.
India is all set to develop the Kargil airfield as a full-fledged transport base by 2016, by when the Indian Air Force (IAF) aims to operate heavy-lift as well combat aircraft planes from there.
Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony will be on a three-day visit to Russia next week, but will not get a chance to witness the ambitious Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) flight demonstration due to scheduling problems.