Honored to be appointed as Defense Minister in Alt Sarkar cabinet. Respected Prime Minister, thank you for your trust in giving me this responsibility. India needs peace to develop & flourish. A strong & professional military can help to preserve peace. As Defense Minister in Alt Sarkar, will strive towards Indian defense force not only get well-equipped & well-trained but also it remains committed to democracy & secularism. As the Defense Minister, I commit to: Alt Sarkar – I will implement One Rank and One Pension in letter and spirit removing all the anomalies inflicted by the outgoing government. Human Rights Violations adversely affect the reputation of the Indian Armed Forces. So I propose to immediately start the process to review AFSPA in order to balance operational requirements with human rights. Armed Forces will not be used for any additional tasks which can be seen as politically or religiously partisan. Strict instructions will be given to the Armed Forces to maintain its secular character at any cost, and anyone working against it will be severely punished. While retired officers of the Military should refrain from discussing operational aspects of armed Forces &giving provocative statements, strict legal actions will be undertaken against media if they use issues related to Army to subvert our democratic institutions. Measures will be undertaken to modernize the weapon system. While there will be an encouragement to indigenous military production, the private Indian companies will have to take part in the intl arms production business for at least 5yrs to bid for our contracts. Indian armed forces will develop a highly efficient unit to protect the country from cyber warfare of enemy forces. Finally, I assure you, Indian Armed Forces is capable and will always remain capable to protect the country from any foreign military threat. It will never need the help of any cultural, religious or political organization in carrying out its task. Jai Hind.
Acceptance Speech of Ashok Swain as Defence Minister of Alt Sarkar
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