The Defence Ministry has once again written to all political parties, asking them to give their opinion on having a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for the armed forces.
Interacting with mediapersons during Navy Day celebrations here on Wednesday, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said the Centre had approached the parties three or four times on the issue. “We again wrote to them recently about it.”
Incidentally, the creation of the CDS was recommended by the Arun Singh Committee following the Kargil war.
The idea was to provide single-point military advice on administering strategic forces, ensuring cohesiveness in the armed forces and enhancing the planning process through inter-service coordination.
While the other recommendations of the panel were implemented, including creation of a full-fledged office of the Integrated Defence Staff, the CDS has not materialised what with objections from various quarters over how much power should be vested in this top post.
On having a Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Mr. Antony said this, along with all other recommendations of the Naresh Chandra Task Force on undertaking reforms in the defence management, had been forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Security for its approval.
On Tuesday, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi said there was agreement among the three chiefs on the issue.
He said that ideally having a Chief of Defence Staff would be the “final solution,” while in the current context their agreement was with respect to the Task Force recommendation.