November 28, 2017 08:39 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

Several war veterans and ex-servicemen came together on Tuesday set the tone for the Military Literature Festival (MLF) with the start of a two-day session of military parley at the Government Museum and Art Gallery auditorium here.

In his opening address, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Bhopinder Singh PVSM, former Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar and Puducherry, described MLF as very good initiative by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, which deserved to be made an annual affair. He also said that the main purpose behind the Festival was to create awareness about the culture and ethos of the defence forces.

Singh said during his career as an Army personnel he had felt and seen the deep respect people had for the army, as was evident from the farmers helping army in 1965 war. He also said that the army not only performs its conventional duties but also comes to the aid of the civilian society whenever needed.

Lt Gen V K Dhir (Retd.) said that technological innovations have been taking place in the army also in keeping with the changing times. Underlining the need to master technology, he said that the man behind the machine today has to become tech savvy. He also dwelled on the need to develop military industrial complexes in the country to reduce dependency on importing weaponry, and rooted for more resources to be made available to the defence forces.

On the occasion, Brigadier RJS Dhillon spoke about Operation Cactus carried out by the Indian Army in the Maldives to save that country from coup, and said that the operation gave the Army the confidence to launch operations at short notice. He described the operation as a perfect sync between political and military leadership. Colonel J S Bindra reminiscenced about the capture of Hajipir Pass prior to the 1965 war by 1 PARA led by Major Ranjit Singh Dyal.

Throwing light on the lessons of the Kargil war, Brigadier MPS Bajwa batted for keeping intelligence apparatus intact along with proper utilisation of the resources. Brigadier Kiran Krishan, in his address, dwelt on humour and described it as the companion of an army man all through, and remembered some of lighter moments from his army days.

Talking about the role of the Indian Air Force during the 1971 war, Squadron Leader DPS Gill VC threw light on the bombing operations carried out during the war and described the challenges faced by a bomber pilot during his days. Colonel MS Dahiya SC spoke about the Siachen Operation in 1984-85 and recalled the difficulties involved in operating on inhospitable terrain.

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