Gen Bikram singh decline to comment on Pak PM’s visit

Chandigarh: Army chief Gen Bikram Singh on Saturday declined to comment on the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to India.

“It (visit of Pakistan PM) is a political decision… let’s not make an issue out of it. Let the government take the decision. Being an Army chief, I would not like to comment on it,” Singh said.

“This action (reacting to ceasefire violations) is seen at the lower level and not decided at the Army Chief’s level,” he pointed out. On the strengthening of road infrastructure near Tibet by China, the Army chief said India is also undertaking infrastructure development in its territory. “China is carrying out development in its own area, we are doing in our area. Infrastructure development is an ongoing process. Each country does it,” he said.

He said a pilot project of setting up old age homes for ex-army men is underway in Panchkula (Haryana), being carried out by Western Command. “Such old age homes will also be set up by other army commands,” he said.

He further said that a pay commission cell had been set up for factoring in demands of ex-servicemen and army personnel in the new pay commission. “Pay Commission Cell will visit army commands, ex-servicemen and know their requirements which will be factored in for the next pay commission,” he said.

On the One Rank One Pension, Singh said the government was committed to fulfilling the aspirations of Army personnel. He said the Government had already set up a committee last year under the Cabinet Secretary in this regard.

Speaking on this occasion, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that gallantry award winners would get free travel cards with three years validity. He said the ministry had received representations that ex-servicemen faced problems in the existing system of annual renewal.


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