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No lessons learnt from Kargil, says ex-Army chief Gen. V.P. Malik

File photo of General V.P. Mallik.

File photo of General V.P. Mallik.   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

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“We should have by now built enough indigenous defence capacity platforms,” said General Malik who headed the force during the Kargil War.

Former Army chief General V.P. Malik on Friday stated that policymakers had not learnt due lessons from the Kargil War, leaving the nation vulnerable on the security front.

He was speaking at the Military Literature Festival, where he expressed disappointment over “the lackadaisical attitude of political class” towards the defence needs of the country.

“We should have by now built enough indigenous defence capacity platforms,” said Gen. Malik who headed the force during the Kargil War, adding that Parliament should debate the issue.

At a panel discussion on ‘Make in India and the Nation’s Security’, he pointed out there was an urgent need to streamline the defence procurement processes, making them facilitators and not hurdles in the endeavour to endow the forces with cutting-edge weaponry.

Dismissing the notion that the Army was fond of importing weapons, Gen. Malik said the abject failure of the country’s public sector to fully deliver the required weaponry was the only reason for such imports.

Expressing similar views, former Financial Adviser (Acquisition) with the Ministry of Defence Amit Cowshish questioned the ambiguity and mistrust around objectives laid down under ‘Make in India’ as far as defence acquisitions were concerned. “There is no clear-cut policy and framework to achieve the avowed goals under the new slogan, he said, adding that indigenisation could not be the sole criterion to reduce costs. He advocated a dedicated overarching organisation to process and deliver on the nation’s defence needs in a time-bound manner.

‘Set to be self-reliant’

Earlier, while inaugurating the event, Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore said India had come a long way since Independence in 1947. The country was no longer dependent upon food or aid from abroad and in fact provided aid to other weaker nations. “We have had to rely upon war material from other countries but slowly, we aim to become self-reliant making our own weapon systems with cutting-edge technology and already ₹3,000 crore worth of defence equipment was being made in India.”

“Make in India for defence systems is no longer a mere slogan but a reality. Very soon we shall be securing our nation with a totally indigenously designed and manufactured weapons and equipment inventory,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 3:56:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-lessons-learnt-from-kargil-says-ex-army-chief/article30300515.ece

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