India’s news army, air force chief have rich Kashmir backgrounds



Soldiers cleared by the government to head the army and the IAF have strong Kashmir experience, reports said.

Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, the vice chief of staff, who superseded two of his seniors to be the new army chief, is considered to be a old Kashmir hand. He is replacing Gen Dalbir Suhag, who is retiring on December 31, as Army Chief

Vice chief of air staff Air Marshal B S Dhanoa who will now head the Indian Air Force was a key player during Kargil operations in 1999.

General Rawat is considered to be an expert on counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir Valley and has served there extensively. Apart from commanding 19 Division in Kashmir, he had one tenure in Northeast as well. Basically from 11 Gorkha Rifles regiment, he had served in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Congo, earlier.

Air Marshal Brainder Singh Dhanoa will take over the IAF on December 31 as well.

Besides, the government also cleared two senior IPS officers – internal security expert Rajiv Jain and Pakistan-expert Anil Dhasmana – to head India’s internal (Intelligence Bureau) and external (Research & Analysis Wing) intelligence agencies respectively. They will serve the top positions for two years.

Interestingly, Congress and Left parties have questioned the appointment of General Rawat as the next army chief skipping two of his seniors  Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the senior most army commander who heads the Eastern Command and PM Hariz, the chief of Southern Command.


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