Converting the Services` HQs as departments of the government within the scope of Allocation of Business Rules, with responsibility to Parliament for obtaining defence appropriations, may be in the long-term interests of the country.
Feroz Hassan Khan’s credentials are high considering that he served with the Pakistan army for 32 years with his last assignment as director of arms control and disarmament affairs in the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), the secretariat of Pakistan’s National Command Authority (NCA). The book under review was not an easy venture, as the author observes: ‘new nuclear states such as India, Israel and Pakistan perforce keep their nuclear programmes opaque to avoid international non-proliferation pressures’ (p. ix).
There are logical reasons for India to suitably intercede with both its neighours to facilitate an agreement on the border. A mediatory role by India may not be unwelcome by Bangladesh and Myanmar as both have friendly relations.
New Delhi should work out an arrangement with the Rajapakse government wherein the rights of both the countries’ fishermen are protected within the respective territorial jurisdiction. If this is not done, the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils, which different governments of India have endeavoured to promote as part of a decided long-term policy, will be compromised.
Sheikh Hasina has to ensure that the writ of the Awami League central leadership runs throughout the country, and elements like the Chhatra League are not allowed to derail accommodative and secular policies.
The Centre must reiterate its commitment to uphold the Constitutional provisions enshrined in Article 371, expand the scope of the Sixth Schedule, and empower the autonomous council institutions in the North-East.
The book is a good example of chorological tabulation through a method of historical narrative of events of significant strategic decision making in the military history of post-independent India. General V.P.