In dispute over selection panel, delay in sending defence attaches abroad

The stalemate has meant that an Indian naval attache has not been selected for Washington and Bahrain, which are now lying vacant. (Picture for representation)

An ongoing dispute between the armed forces and defence ministry over the composition of a selection panel to choose defence attaches for Indian missions abroad has led to a delay in sending of military attaches abroad. Sources said the matter has reached a stage where the three service chiefs have sought a meeting with the ministry to resolve it at the earliest.

The stalemate has meant that an Indian naval attache has not been selected for Washington and Bahrain, which are now lying vacant. At least three more posts of military attaches in Maldives, Kenya and Oman will soon be vacant, with little chance of them being occupied unless the dispute is resolved.

The post of naval attache in Washington has been vacant since September last year and a new post for defence advisor in Bahrain which was sanctioned three months back has not been filled so far. The defence attache posted to Bahrain is an important strategic move by India, as he will be the key point for engagement with the Headquarters of United States Naval Forces Central Command.

Although India falls under the Hawai-based US Indo-Pacific Command, US Central Command is in charge of naval operations in areas which include Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. It is also the lead player in anti-piracy and…

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