Eight former Army Chiefs today rejected Gen (retd) V K Singh's statement that Army has been paying money to certain ministers in Jammu and Kashmir since independence to bring in stability there.
"No funds were ever provided by the Army, to any politicians, political party or any NGO in their tenures and nor would they have allowed that," the former Army Chiefs said in a joint statement issued here.
They are Generals O P Malhotra, SF Rodrigues, Shankar Roychowdhury, Ved Prakash Malik, S Padamanabhan, NC Vij, JJ Singh and Deepak Kapoor.
The statement came against the backdrop of a controversy over Gen V K Singh's recent remarks that the Army was paying money to certain ministers in J& K to bring stability in the state.
Gen VK Singh had later clarified that this money was not a bribe and suggested that it was given under Operation Sadbhavna of the force towards winning the hearts and minds of the people.
The former chiefs said the aspect of paying money to ministers should not be mixed with that of Operation Sadbhavna.
"This aspect should not be mixed with ‘Sadhbhavna’ operations, which are carried out to provide infrastructure, education and health services etc to the local populace in J and K and for this pre and post audited funds, with laid down deliverables and procedures, are allotted in the defence budget," they said.
They further stressed that the Indian Army is completely apolitical and that they do not dabble in politics and the Army takes great pride in this time honoured tradition.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.