Narendra Modi government tells arms suppliers to be ready to scale production


21 Jun 2013
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India prepares for war with Pakistan? Narendra Modi government tells arms suppliers to be ready to scale production!

As tensions between India and its troublesome neighbour Pakistan escalate, the Narendra Modi government might be moving towards abandoning caution and preparing its arms supplies to be ready for use, when the need arises. Media reports suggested on Monday that arms suppliers and manufacturers have been asked by the BJP government to scale up production and supply arms’ contracts at short notice. The government has reportedly sent feelers to arms manufacturers to assess capability and capacity and be ready to meet the needs of the armed forces. This comes even as the world powers urge India to exercise restraint in relation to Pakistan.

According to a report in the Times of India, over the past few weeks, the Narendra Modi government has started sending out word about arms supplies over the past few days. Some of the biggest arms businesses and and weapons suppliers have been contacted and have been conveyed that arms contracts should be given without delays. Government has indicated that contracts for arms could be placed on an immediate basis too. Speaking to the Economic Times, a defence expert said, ”The government wants a realistic estimate of the industry’s ability to deliver on a short notice; to upscale current production and to meet urgent orders.” The paper also said that the government had made similar inquiries after the Pathankot attack in January.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley went on record last month, saying that an increase in defence budget is likely in the coming months, to meet the security needs. Speaking at a banking conference, Jaitley had said, “In India, in addition to all the global events which leave an impact on us, we also have the security challenge. The security challenge involves an element of uncertainty. It also involves a lot of national resources being diverted in that direction and it will always get top priority.” Jaitley’s statement had come in the wake of the deadly terror attack at the Uri Army base in Jammu and Kashmir in September.

19 Indian Army jawans were martyred in the Uri attack and 19 others were injured. The attack was said to be the biggest one on an Indian Army base in peace times. Tempers rose with Pakistan denying any hand in the attack, and the Pakistani media claiming that the attack was self-inflicted by India, to make Pakistan look bad. Following the attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif further forced India to be on the offensive by raising the Kashmir issue during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. He blamed India of perpetrating human rights violations in the Kashmir valley. His speech was met with much censure first from Enaam Gambhir, first secretary at the Indian mission in UN, and then by Sushma Swaraj, representing India at the UNGA.

While Gambhir had called Pakistan the ‘Ivy League of terrorism’, Sushma Swaraj did not shy away from naming and shaming Pakistan for the Uri attack, stressing on the fact that Pakistan should be isolated on the issue of terrorism. The surgical strikes of September 29 sealed India’s policy change towards Pakistan, with clear indications that India’s troublesome neighbour will be dealt a harsh hand from now on. Now with the government reaching out to meet arms needs, it is clear that the armed forces are being prepared to meet a full-scale war challenge too, with shortage in ammunition and small arms being filled.
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