In view of escalating tension at the LoC, should India get a full-time defence minister?

GN Bureau | October 7, 2014



Around 9 pm on Monday (October 6), Pakistani troops opened fire at BSF posts in Kanachak and Pargwal, as well as those in Arnia and RS Pura sector, along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Seven civilians were killed and over 50 people injured in villages along the border in Jammu, according to an Indian Express report.
While defence spokespersons were quoted in the media saying BSF personnel gave “strong and befitting reply” to the firing at all places, the late-evening firing came after Pakistan's 11th violation of ceasefire in October.

While home minister Rajnath Singh said Pakistan should stop such firing immediately, adding that "Pakistan should understand the reality – that times have changed in India", and defence minister Arun Jaitley also warned the neighbouring country to stop such attacks, India will do well to remember that such ceasefire violations are escalating as the winter approaches. For, this has, over the years, been the time when more infiltration is attempted across the LoC before it becomes virtually impossible in the winter months, according to defence experts.

In this light can India do with Jaitley, who was discharged from the hospital only recently, doubling as the defence minister alongside his key role as the finance minister? Should the Modi administration look at appointing a full-time defence minister?
 

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