HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Govt keeping army restrained on Pak issue: VK Singh

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chennai, October 03, 2013
First Published: 14:37 IST(3/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:37 IST(3/10/2013)

Former Indian Army chief General VK Singh on Thursday attacked the central government, by alleging that it was responsible for the situation along the India-Pakistan border which has witnessed repeated infiltration attempts from the Pakistani side.

“The government should answer. I can’t answer. The army has a character. The army should be allowed to function. When you rein in (the army), things go wrong. Let the army do its job,” Singh said.

He also hinted at intelligence failure as a reason for increasing incidents of infiltration and rise in militant activities along the border districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh was speaking after a panel discussion on governance issues at Loyola College in Chennai.

Singh had recently said that the army pays money to “all the ministers in Jammu and Kashmir to perform particular jobs” to “keep people together”.

He then said that the payments were made to ministers, not as bribes but only for army’s welfare schemes under Operation Goodwill aimed at “winning people’s hearts”.

Singh used the occasion to deny his allegations once again.

Under fire in Jammu and Kashmir assembly for his statement, the general told a questioner from the college that no army funds were misused in Kashmir.

“It has been used to bring harmony,”  Singh said.

The former army chief also defended his sharing the dais with the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and said it was not a political meeting and the Gujarat chief minister did not talk politics. The meeting was in support of former servicemen, Singh said.

Former chief election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy and former judge of Madras high court K Chandru also participated in the panel discussion on governance issues.

The meeting was jointly organised by Forum for Integrity in Governance, Anti-Corruption Movement and Loyola College.

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