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General V K Singh takes potshots at 'helpless' PM

November 09, 2013 18:11 IST

Former army chief General V K Singh has taken potshots at the functioning of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In his autobiography Courage and Convictions, the former chief said he had briefed the prime minister about his visit to Myanmar and told him "in no uncertain terms as to what was happening or rather, what was not happening".

"The prime minister listened most carefully and said in a resigned manner that 'General saab, ab yeh to procedural problems hain' (these are procedural problems). We are trying," the former chief says in the book.

"How many times I had heard this before. I lost count years ago. Here was the prime minister of India, expressing his helplessness in matters that should have been trivial," he says.

Giving details of his visit to Myanmar, he said there were issues related to the handing over of road rollers to the Myanmar government, for an expenditure of Rs 20 crore.

General Singh said despite the 'Look East Policy' propagated by the prime minister, for 15 years, the oil exploration offered by Myanmar was "lying in someone's pending tray".

"We were left making indignant noises while think tank experts got another reason to talk about China's growing influence all around us," he said.

On the issue of creating a National War Memorial, he said he had met prime minister's then Principal Secretary T K A Nair on the instructions of Defence Minister A K Antony.

"He (Nair) was very receptive and said he would put people to work. Many reconnaissance trips were made but nothing emerged. As usual, there was a labyrinth of pressure groups, various turf battles and of course, a sad mindset that this issue concerned only armed forces," he said.

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