"It is tragic to hear about the leakage of the letter (written to Prime Minister)..there was communication with others also but luckily that had not been leaked," General Singh said in an interaction with the media after the release of a book on Northeast India.
The Army Chief defended his decision to write the letter, saying it was part of an ongoing process to update the Centre on the defence preparedness of the country. "Giving details of our preparedness to the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the Defence Ministry is an ongoing process. It cannot be said to be too late or too early... from time to time we have to inform the Ministry about our defence preparedness," General Singh said.
Singh further said it was the duty of his department to inform the Ministry about defence preparedness and also whether "We (Army) are lacking somewhere". The Defence standing committee has discussed the issue and suggested some steps to which we have concurred, he said, in reply to a question.
About the shortage of 10,000 officers, he said the backlog is not recent. "It has happened over a period of years and we need to meet the requirement. We have taken cognizance of the capabilities existing in our neighbourhood. We have taken certain measures to meet our requirements. If you are looking at meeting 100 per cent of the competitiveness then it would be too expensive," Singh said replying to a query on nuclear preparedness of the country.
Earlier, Maharashtra Governor K Shankaranarayanan released a three-book series titled 'North East Trilogy' in the presence of General Singh at the Army auditorium in Colaba. The book, authored by Dipti Bhalla and Kunal Verma, was commissioned by the Army.