The Hindu Business Line
Due process followed in new Army chief ’s appointment, says PMO
The decision to appoint Bipin Rawat as the next Chief of Army Staff was taken keeping in mind the Centre’s focus on counterterrorism and counter-insurgency issues even as this has raised several eyebrows with Opposition parties planning to come down heavily on the government.
“The government is now completely focussed on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency issues. This was the only basis to select the next COAS and Lt Gen Bipin Rawat completely fitted the criteria,” MoD sources told BusinessLine.
Rawat had been Commanding Officer of 19 Division in Jammu and Kashmir, as a result he is familiar with the functioning of the Army in difficult regions where the government is focussed to carry our counter insurgency programmes.
The COAS-Designate has 10 years of experience in Counter Insurgency Operations and also was posted on Line of Control. He was involved in 1986 Operations in Eastern Sector facing China. He was also posted in Pulwama in the 19 Division.
He has also handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China, and in the North-East.
According to a statement by the PMO, the process of selection of Chief of Services is based on a process that commences four to five months in advance with Ministry of Defence seeking personal data and professional profiles of all eligible Lt Gens from amongst the Vice Chief of Army Staff and General Officers Commanders in Chiefs of Commands.
“In the selection and nomination of the Chief of Army Staff designate by the government, due process had been followed considering prevailing security environment and the PMO said.
The opposition parties and former Army veterans have accused the government of breaking the standard principle of appointing the COAS based on seniority. There were two more Generals – Praveen Bakshi and PM Hariz - in fray who are senior to Rawat.
Rawat will be taking over from the present COAS Dalbir Singh on December 31.
On Saturday the government announced the appointment of Rawat as the next COAS and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa as the the next Chief of Air Staff.
Dhanos was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1978. He has served in various squadrons and in the Intelligence Directorate of Air Headquarters. requirements,”