New Delhi [India], November 14 (ANI): Defence expert Maj Gen (R) S.P. Sinha on Sunday lauded the statement of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that the Centre will never tie the hands of the armed forces, saying that the remark was significant.
"It is a great and a significant statement by the honourable Defence Minister. It is a morale booster. When Congress was in power, the armed forces had to seek permission from the Ministry of Defence in Delhi to return the fire from the Pakistani terrorists or soldiers. But the scenario has changed. Let me tell you the significance of the minister's statement. One, morale will be boosted. Two, operational freedom will be given to armed forces. Three, a befitting reply will be given to the enemy. Four, it will convey a message of the enemy that the scenario has changed in India. Lastly, the statement that he will stand by his armed forces even if the decision taken by them turns out to be wrong is pretty important and significant," said Sinha to ANI.
When questioned on Rajnath Singh's statements that Pakistan sheltered terrorists in spite of making announcements stating otherwise, he said, "Musharraf had told Vajpayee that the Pakistani land will not be used for exporting terror to India. What has happened to that commitment? Things have not changed."
He said that the biggest mistake of the Indo-Pak relationship and losing of the strategic advantage over Pakistan had happened under the leadership of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
"If Indira Gandhi had a great strategic vision before releasing 93,000 prisoners, we would have arm-twisted Pakistan to return PoK, Aksai Chin to us and liberate Baluchistan and Sindh. We could have arm-twisted them to vacate Siachen. All of this was possible. It was bad strategy and military thinking, but things have changed today. Rajnath Singh is right that the political leadership of today is decisive, strong and has strong willpower. It has sent a chill down the spines of China and Pakistan. For the first time in history, Chinese troops went back. This is new India," he added.
Sinha said that Singh was also right that the world has started showing its belief in India when it comes to fighting terrorism.
'When the attack took place in Mumbai on Taj Hotel, what happened? 167 people were killed. India Air Force went to the government saying that they want to teach a lesson to Pakistan but nothing happened as permission was not given. Prime Minister only criticised the actions of terrorists. But was it good enough? Things have changed now. After Pulwama, there was a PoK surgical strike and the Balakot airstrike. India has shown its capabilities to the ones exporting terror to the country. It is the new India," he said.
Sinha termed the supply of S-400 Air Defence Missiles and coming up of its first squadron in Western front as significant.
"It is really significant because IAF has authorised 42 fighter jet squadrons. It is holding only 31, and out of that 7 fighter jet squadrons are either MIG 21 or MIG 27 which are to be phased out by 2020. So, there is a significant fall in the number of fighter jets that squadrons the Indian Air Force are supposed to hold. Second, that air defence plays an important role in ensuring that enemy aircraft don't enter our territory and they don't bombard us. So what do you do? You have to develop a foolproof air defence system. This foreign aid is going to be a morale booster and a game-changer. I would like to point out that America said that sanctions will be applied to India if they buy S-400 missiles from Russia. They were testing our nerves. Union leadership said what we buy is our prerogative, is our choice. No other country has any moral right to interfere in our purchases. This only a strong nation can do which has strong leadership. America was shown its place," he said. (ANI)