NEW DELHI, Mar 10: Important pillars of the Constitution/State, including legal fraternity, armed forces veterans, judiciary, bureaucracy, political luminaries and Press assembled in a seminar “A Tribute to the Armed Forces and the March Ahead” at India International Centre, to pay tribute to the armed forces for their sacrifices in the service of the nation.
The speakers paid rich tribute to the martyrs and lauded the efforts of the armed forces for leaving no stone unturned to secure the nation from internal and external threats. The eminent panelists gave invaluable suggestions and a road map to build military capabilities to prepare armed forces to fight future wars.
The speakers stressed the need to send a strong message to Pakistan that if it continues to pursue the policy of cross border terrorism, India will not hesitate to use military power in future as well. The panelists, in a strong language, conveyed that terrorism as a State policy by Pakistan will not be tolerated any more.
They termed terrorism as a major threat to the country and stressed that there was need to deal with this threat in a resolute manner by adopting smart strategy. They suggested that on one side Government should engage in talks with the stakeholders in J&K, but on the other side Government should continue to deal firmly with the perpetrators of the terrorism. It was also stressed that youth of J&K should be integrated with the main stream and citizens at large should also make endeavours to treat them as an equal stakeholders in nation building.
All speakers were unanimous in their opinion that military capabilities of the armed forces should be built in a structured and time bound manner. “Need for modernisation, indigenisation and restructuring of Defence Public Sector Undertaking require urgent attention,” opined most of the panelist who applauded the armed forces for their skills, discipline, dedication and morale to sacrifice in the service of the nation. They also cautioned the Government that the morale and combat edge can only be maintained if the soldiers are given the best equipment to serve the nation. “Soldiers must be treated with dignity, care, empathy and welfare so that they don’t have to look back while performing their duties,” they said and stressed the need to enhance defence budget so that modernisation of forces can be fast tracked.
The seminar was organized under former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Rupinder Singh Suri; Ashok Bhan, Chairman (Kashmir Policy & Strategy group) and president of the Centre for Unifying Society & Research, Praveer Bagchi and United Service Institution of India.
Eminent panelists, who participated in the deliberations, included Ashok Bhan, Rupinder Singh Suri, Gen Deepak Kapoor, S N Sirivastava (Director IIC), Lt Gen PK Singh (Director USI), former Governor A M Kohli, former Governor BP Singh, Justice (Retd) Promod Kohli, A S Dulat, Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia, Admiral Satish Soni, Lt Gen AK Sahni, senior Journalists Alok Mehta and Pankaj Vohra.