Service chiefs, PM need to interact on strategic issues: Tipnis

Former Air Chief Anil Tipnis has underlined a need for regular "informal interaction" between the PM and three services chiefs.

Pune: In the wake of tension at the Indo-Pak border, former Air Chief Anil Tipnis has underlined a need for regular "informal interaction" among the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the three services chiefs to discuss issues of strategic importance.

Making a mention of the equation between the US President and the American armed forces, Tipnis said, "the US President is always in touch with the military commanders, be it Afghanistan or Iraq. He has one-to-one interaction with them.

"Our chiefs do not meet Prime Minister, who should lend his ear to them. The chiefs have a right to approach the PM to discuss defence matters."

In an interview with a Marathi news channel, on the strategy to deal with a hostile Pakistan he said the terrorist base camps in the neighbouring country can be targeted by the Indian Air Force "without crossing the Line of Control (Loc)" with the technology available.

"But to do this we need intelligence inputs. Real time human intelligence is needed for precision attacks. We can harm them if not destroy," said the former chief who questioned the effectiveness of intelligence network.

"Intelligence is a natural security tool. Our intelligence is not as good as that of Pakistan", he remarked.

Referring to the contradictory statements made by the Defence Minister AK Antony in Parliament on the Poonch incident in which five Indian soldiers were killed, Tipnis said, "Such discordant notes benefit the enemy."

Disapproving of a soft approach towards Pakistan, he said, "We have to be more aggressive and dominating with Pakistan instead of just reacting. We just react to the Pak moves."

Stating that political leadership should also listen to the military leadership, Tipnis stressed the need for "timely acquisition" of necessary weapons required by the three services to upgrade defence preparedness.

"We have to be well equipped and should be able to take things to logical conclusion", he added.

Observing that Pakistan wants India to break into pieces, Tipnis said the religious fundamentalists in Pakistan and its all powerful Army were mutually supporting each other in anti-India posturing.

Describing nuclear warfare as a "strategic thought rather than a reality", he said India should not budge and cow down by Pakistan`s nuclear threat.


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