Antony seeks views on Chief of Defence Staff
New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony has written to political parties to elicit their views on creation of a post of single head of the three Services and would take a decision only after widespread consultations.
Defence Ministry is not in a hurry to create a Chief of Defence Staff or a permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee as per the recommendations of the Naresh Chandra panel. The Minister has recently written to political parties to get their views on the issue, senior Defence Ministry officials said.
He has also sought the advice of a Committee headed by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon on the issue.
Only after getting advice from the Committee headed by the NSA and holding parleys with political parties, the Defence Minister will take any decision on recommending the matter for clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security, they said.
The Naresh Chandra committee on security reforms had suggested that till the time a Chief of Defence Staff was appointed, the Government should appoint a four-star officer as permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee for a fixed two-year period.
The Kargil reforms committee had recommended the creation of the post of CDS and since then, the Defence Ministry has written to political parties on several occasions to get their views.
As per the recommendations of the two Committees, the CDS or the permanent Chairman of the tri-services would be the single-point of advise on military matters for the Government.
The Defence Ministry has some reservations on the issue of giving sweeping powers proposed for the CDS by the two committees.