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Armed Forces, Judiciary, Press, Bureaucracy and Legislature- Five Pillars of the State Salute Forces for their Service to the Nation

“A Tribute to the Armed Forces and the March Ahead ” seminar was organised jointly by the IIC, USI, Centre for Unifying Society & Research and others at the India International Centre on 9 March 2019.

In a unique gesture five pillars of the state including Armed Forces veterans, Judicial luminaries, Ex Bureaucracy, Political personalities and Press joined together in a seminar “A Tribute to the Armed Forces and the March Ahead” 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. During the seminar the eminent panelists gave invaluable suggestions and a road map to build military capabilities to prepare armed forces to fight future wars.

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In the backdrop of the growing military tension post Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama attack, 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.

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In a single voice all speakers termed terrorism as a major threat to the country. Therefore, there is a need to deal with this threat in a resolute manner by adopting smart strategy. The speakers 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. Most of the panelist 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. Eminent speakers also highlighted the need to enhance defence budget so that modernisation of forces can be fast tracked.

A seminar titled “A Tribute to the Armed Forces and the March Ahead” was organised on 9 March 2019 by Mr Rupinder Singh Suri, former President of the Supreme Court bar Association; Mr Prabir Bagchi, Founder & President of the Centre for Unifying Society & Research, and in collaboration with United Service Institution of India (USI), where Lt Gen PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director, USI was the Special Guest of Honour. The seminar was attended by veterans, academia, members of bar council of the Supreme Court, excellences, students, veterans from the Armed Forces, former bureaucrats and the members of the press.

The eminent panellists included  Mr. Ashok Bhan, Senior Advocate and Chairman Kashmir Policy and Strategy Group; Mr. Rupinder Singh Suri; Gen Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC (Retd), former Chief of Army Staff; Mr. S N Sirivastava, IAS (Retd), Director IIC; Lt Gen PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director, USI; Mr. A R Kohli, former Governor of Mizoram; Mr. BP Singh, former Governor of Sikkim; Justice (Retd) Permod Kohli, former Chief Justice of High Court of Sikkim; Mr. A S Dulat, former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat; Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Bar) (Retd), former C-in C; Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, PVSM, AVSM, NM (Retd), former C-in-C; Lt Gen AK Sahni PVSM, UYSM, SM, VSM (Retd), former C-in-C, South Western Command; Mr. Alok Mehta, former President, Editors Guild of India and Mr. Pankaj Vohra, Managing Editor, Sunday Guardian. After the discussion, it was deliberated to take this movement further and conduct such awareness seminars in various parts of the country including J&K.

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