HERE PDS MEANS-- “(P)EACE (D)ISTRIBUTION (S)YSTEM” VIA CASH TRANSFERS
- Kashmir’s territorial dispute remains the most acrimonious issue between India and Pakistan.
- Former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh disclosed on 23rd September 2013 that some ministers/politicians of J&K (Jammu &Kashmir) Government have always been funded by the army for maintaining law/ order/ peace/harmony in the State to serve the broader National objective.
- In India, Food subsidy is disbursed through leaky “Public Distribution System” (PDS) with diversion of about 50% to non-entitled beneficiaries. Experts claim that cash transfers are preferred method. Gen Singh has maintained that “cash transfers” for PDS—“Peace Distribution System” for select VIPs is prevalent in Kashmir since Indian independence (1947).
- Ex-chief of Indian army was responding to the charge of destabilizing J&K Government by disbursement of Rs 1 crores ($160,000), which reportedly came after he shared dais with Narendra Modi for a rally of ex-army/retired personnel who are an “electoral catchment” for the next election. Even a junior police officer—SHO-station house officer-- cannot be transferred in Delhi with this much of amount.The charge apparently is outrageous and smacks of political vendetta.
- When secrecy is no longer the priority of the powers that be, then the victim is also compelled to lose his sense of silence.
Former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh when interviewed on TV channel TIMESNOW by Arnab Goswami (Editor in Chief and anchor) on the night of 23rd September 2013 candidly disclosed that some ministers/politicians of J&K (Jammu &Kashmir) Government-- through Technical Support Division (TSD) of Indian army—have always been funded/paid for maintaining law/ order / peace/harmony in the State for the broader National objective of reducing potential clashes between the army and local population. Such a payment procedure is prevalent since Independence. Neither has he invented it nor can he be blamed for.
If peace subsidy is not disbursed, there could be more trouble and violence in that region. Peace is traded and purchased in Kashmir as a commodity. It does not exist in broader sense of societal balance. That is the underlying message. Is Kashmir’s affiliation is attributed and tied to this public spending? It is a shocking exposé to all Indians.
“Peace subsidy” is the motivation for seeking coveted ministerial berths. There could be social unrest if subsidy is withdrawn. Arnab Goswami watched with shock and disbelief as the General made startling disclosures and viewers were numbed to silence. Singh also claimed that various CMs (Chief Ministers)-- past and present-- of J&K, Defence Ministry and topmost Indian establishment cannot be oblivious of these pay outs. The “essentiality” of such payments must have been secretly approved at the highest level. All are aware that no public expenditure can be incurred unless budgeted and provided for.
Another salvo of admission came in subsequent debate on TIMESNOW on 24th September 2013 by former army chief Shankar Roy Chaudhary, who retired in 1997, that it is the job of Intelligence Bureau (IB) to handle the money and not that of the army—further reinforcing the belief that such routine pay-outs are carried out on behalf of the Government either by IB or by the Army.
Around 20th March 2013, Singh was accused of destabilizing J&K Government by disbursing Rs 1 crores ($160,000) after he shared dais with Narendra Modi, for a rally of ex-army/retired personnel who are an “electoral constituency” for the next election. In Delhi’s social circle the gossip is that even a police officer—SHO-- cannot be transferred with this amount, let alone undermining any State government.
Singh mentioned that he suspects a “babu” from UP/Lucknow—may be an IAS officer-- who master minded the leakage of highly classified documents, without specifying his name and rank in bureaucracy. If official channels can leak secret paper, then the victim is also compelled to lose his sense of silence. Widely known it is that relationship between bureaucracy in Defense ministry and armed forces have never been cordial.
About one year prior to his date of retirement ( May 2012), Gen Singh remained involved with many contentious matters—like uncertainty on fixing date of his superannuation and dragging the Government to Supreme court, allegedly snooping in the office of Defence Minister, having used Technical Support Division (TSD)—a human intelligence outfit for acting against his colleagues, writing to Prime Minister about lack of preparedness of Indian Army, disclosing about purchase of expensive Tatra trucks for the army, suspicious movement of two army units in January 2012 to Delhi and lately, after retirement speculations of his having some political affiliations. Post retirement, General’s tormentors never realised his uninhibited outspokenness when pushed to the wall.
Logically funding/payment to ministers is a scam per-se but when it is officially sanctioned and army is merely a conduit, then none can be blamed—because “essentiality of the process” is ratified by the competent authority. But the Government becomes complicit in undertaking covert operation when something that was concealed or not known widely becomes an open admission.
Well acknowledged it is that Pakistan’s army/ISI runs the regime in the neighboring country. The embarrassment that India now has to encounter is that it too uses army/IB in corrupting the corruptible because that is the way Sovereignty of the Nation can be protected!! High moral grounds of India are humbled by such revelations. Common perception is that Ministers in any case have to be “looked after” by the businesses. India is no different from Pakistan. Both can be faulted.
"You can't have 100% security and then also have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience," Obama said, when USA openly admitted to spying by internet on all and sundry. “Society has to make choices”, so believes the President of USA. Edward Snowdon is the whistle-blower. Here General VK Singh is.
Sarbjeet Singh’s imprisonment and execution by Pakistan, even if it was case of mistaken identity, also endorses that India had its own overt and covert agenda for the larger National objective.
Public outrage may demand that this matter be investigated for propriety. Faroukh Abdullah demands CBI (Central Bureau of Investigations) probe. CBI and IB are already on collusion course. More muck may emerge in public domain if such controversies continue.
Let the matter be laid to rest by both the sides in the National interest and security. Let elections not vitiate defence of the country.