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Wednesday, August 19, 2015
General VP Malik Clarifies Now on OROP
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ved Malik
1. Despite interviews on many TV channels, I find there are many ex servicemen (ESM) who are questioning how and why I got involved on the issue of OROP.
2. In this context, I am pasting below text of my e mail to Sureesh Mehta when he proposed and sent me the draft of the letter that was sent from Goa to the President:
On 10th, August morning, I got a call from Principal Secretary (PS) to the PM stating that the PM desired me to discuss Govt position on OROP with agitation leaders and try to resolve this issue so that he can announce it on 15th August. I was reluctant initially but after speaking to Maj Gen Satbir Singh on phone (later, I also spoke to Lt Gens Bahri, Raj Kadyan and Balbir Singh), I agreed to visit Delhi. I also requested Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MP and Lawyer Navdeep Singh to join and help me on this mission.
On 11th Aug, I met the Principal Secretary. He and the Joint Secretary (JS) dealing with this subject in PMO briefed me on the Govt stand. In the evening, all three of us together were briefed by the JS. Looking at the Govt position (I am not going into details), we felt that we CAN NOT represent the Govt or the agitators but will remain go-between only and try if we can bridge the gap.
We identified the critical areas and next day had separate meetings with Satbir Singh (IESM) and Balbir Singh (IESL) with a few of their colleagues. I also spoke to Raj Kadyan but as he was leaving for London he could not come. Thereafter I briefed the PS next day.
After speaking to the FM and PM, he gave us the 'final stand of the Govt'.
Rajeev and I conveyed this to the leaders of IESM and IESL on 12th evening, which as expected, was rejected by the latter parties.
After informing the outcome to the PS, who did not indicate any desire to change the Govt position (PM and other ministers were far too busy due to Parliament session), I decided to exit and informed both sides.
I am now back in Panchkula. The only advantage gained in this unsuccessful mission has been that both sides are now fully aware of each others' position (at PM level) as at 9 PM, 12th August.
While I endorsed the draft letter sent by you, I was not in a position to respond or put my signature on it due to this activity. My apologies!
I have requested everyone that while moving forward in their respective ways, they should not mention my name and this episode to the media."
3. While the ESM orgs were not prepared to budge from the agreed definition, the Govt's final stand meant paying less than what had been worked out earlier and thus deviation from the definition.
Unfortunately, the last para of my mail to Sureesh could not be followed up beyond 72 hours; the media splashed my name and the issue was all over. Since then, I have appeared on many channels, including Karan Thapar's programme last night.
4. I am also pasting below Navdeep Singh's blog on our involvement.
The last few days have been saddening.
But more than the unfortunate events, what has bothered me is the irresponsible emails floating around, probably initiated by idle minds, related to attempts of some of our very senior veterans and Parliamentarians to find a solution to the OROP logjam as per the satisfaction of the veteran community.
General VP Malik was requested by the highest echelons of the Government to act as a bridge between the two sides in facilitating the implementation of OROP. He undertook the responsibility very reluctantly and after duly taking the go-ahead from senior veteran leaders. He very graciously asked me and Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament, to assist him for clearing all his doubts on the subject, with only one aim in mind- the welfare of the veteran community. Mr Chandrasekhar, as we all know, has been rock solid in his support to the veteran community, including disabled soldiers and military widows.
General Malik tried his utmost best and merely acted as a connection between two sides so as to convey the thoughts of the veteran community on the OROP formula to the Government, and that too only after due consultation and permission from veterans at the vanguard. When no resolution was in sight, he himself genially withdrew.
I would like to assure everyone that there was no ‘deal’ brought forth by General Malik or others and he got involved with a very noble intention. And I can say it with full certainty and responsibility since I myself witnessed some of the events.
I would request all of you not to write irresponsible emails since such actions do not just sully reputations but also dishearten all of us who continue to work hard, even at the cost of time to our primary professions, for veteran welfare with all sincerity. This also results in burning bridges and closing all channels of discussions since many of us are at times in the position to talk to both sides with a sense of responsibility and it would not be correct to impute inferences which do not exist, except in the fertile minds of the idle few.
All of us are playing our roles in the best interests of our nation, some do it in the forefront, some in the background, but important nevertheless.
Posted byNavdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh
5. On 16th Aug, Nirmal Vij sent me yet another draft letter for sending it to the President. I spoke to him and said that yet another letter to the President is meaningless. Also, that while I agree with most of its substance but on its timing..I felt that we should wait for a few days. I felt that the PM and his govt be given a few more days to review their stance. Also, that we should avoid raising the level of frustration among ESM who may want to take some extreme steps.
I am now in Panchkula; NOT involved though commenting on it off and on!
Colonel N K Balakrishnan ( Retd ) ,
Phone- ( 0484) 2380987