No Tri-Service Commander? Parrikar Says He Will Soon Name New Army, IAF Chiefs

Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday that he will soon name the next Indian Army and Indian Air Force chiefs. He was speaking after paying tributes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here on Vijay Diwas or Victory Day that is observed on 16 December to mark the military triumph over Pakistan in 1971 which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Delay in announcing the new chiefs has not only sparked a controversy, but has also left analysts and experts speculating on the possibility of appointment of a tri-service commander. Now, with Parrikar saying that the new air force and army chiefs will be announced soon, it seems that the plan is not in pipeline.

However, the possibility can’t be ruled out altogether as army and air chiefs will be required even if a tri-service commander is appointed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Defence Minister have both earlier pledged to appoint a tri-service chief.

Sources informed IANS that the Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi; the Southern Army Commander, Lt Gen P M Hariz and the army vice chief, Lt Gen Bipin Rawat are in the fray to succeed Gen Dalbir Singh. Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, a Kargil war veteran, and the Indian Air Force vice chief is in the fray for the top job.

Also Read: Will The Government Bite The Bullet On Appointing Chief Of Defence Staff?

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