Panaji, Nov 13: Manohar Parrikar is not even a few days old in the office of the Defence Ministry, but ends up surprising one and many when said that the "Chinese incursion into Arunachal Pradesh not serious issue". Now, it would sound like an assuarance when we hear his next lines: "the issue is being effectively tackled on a day to day basis".
However, he did mention infrastructural back-up to handle these problems. In a press interview back in Panaji, Parrikar said,"Chinese intrusion is not a serious issue. It is a serious issue for media. The incidents of incursions by China are a small issue that is being tackled by Army chief or the concerned commander in that area." He further informed that there are large tracts of land along the imaginary border and many a times the forces cross it.
He further said,"The issue should be considered as serious when they (China) set up their camps in our territory. The incursions like the one happening in Arunachal Pradesh happen many a times in many sectors and are tackled within a day or couple of days. It is not correct to call them as major intrusions. They are breach of LAC."
Speaking of the procedural bottleneck, Parrikar said that their removals are important for procurement process. He said,""The issue of procurement for armed forces has been taken on priority. This is very crucial to built the capability of the armed forces." He further clarified that the defence procurement should not be tightened as this leads to complication of processes. "The best way to avoid complications is to ensure transparency in the purchases, he said.
Targetting the Congress, Parrikar said that most of the defence deals got stuck due to lobbying and corruption in the past.
What defence aims to do
Parrikar highlighted that he would focus on whether the armed forces were ready with logistics, infrastructure and manpower. He said,""We have to make sure that no one should dare to fire at the Line of Control. Intrusions keep on happening, but we have to ensure that they don't happen. We have to see our preparedness".
Army handling it on a day-to-day basis
Assuring the media that he is briefed by the defence chiefs every day, he said that the jet failure issues have mostly been resolved. "There are no incidents reported in the 2014 of plane crashes. There were some issues in past but they are sorted out," Parrikar stated. "Sometimes in a fighter plane, the pilot, while doing difficult manoeuvres, crashes the plane as he is not trained for it," he said.
The minister also said that his key focus would be to promote Indian companies for defence equipment, unless it is a complicated one.
All said and done, we have just one thing to ask to the honourable Defence Minister: If the above-mentioned issues are not serious then what are?