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Posted at: Dec 3, 2019, 12:16 PM; last updated: Dec 3, 2019, 3:15 PM (IST)

Chief of Defence Staff needs to be empowered, says Navy chief

Chief of Defence Staff needs to be empowered, says Navy chief
Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh addresses a press conference. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 3

Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Tuesday said the upcoming position of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) should be empowered enough to implement the plans as desired.

He was answering questions at the annual press conference ahead of Navy Day here. He said the issues of the services had been conveyed to the empowered committee which had submitted its report.

On the upcoming massive exercise Milan in March 2020 that will see 41 navies participating, the Admiral said the idea is to collectively meet the challenge in the Indian Ocean region. This exercise will also have a operational part to it.

On being asked why China was not invited, the Admiral said, “We have called people who we think are like-minded.”

Asked if the Navy could conduct an exercise with China, Admiral Singh said, “That’s beyond my pay grade,” an indication that the decision rested with the government.

About the scope of the exercise, the Navy chief said their role is to stabilise and not a militray one.

He dismissed the upcoming China-Pakistan naval exercise as “routine”. 

On being asked if the Chinese survey vessel had been turned away from Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Port Blair, the Admiral said, “Our stand is clear; anything in our EEZ cannot be without our permission.”

China’s presence in the Indian Ocean had started in 2008 and at any given point it has seven to eight ships in the Ocean for various reasons like anti-piracy. 

“We have our defence in place,” the Admiral said.

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