After the need for wider consultations was flagged for the creation of new theatre commands as part of military reforms, a high-level committee has been formed to engage with external stakeholders as well before a cabinet note is moved.
The committee, consisting of the three Vice Chiefs of the Armed Forces and the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee has been tasked to ensure that all views are taken into consideration before the matter is moved for a final decision to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
The committee is expected to engage with external stakeholders like the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Finance Ministry and other departments that will be directly or indirectly impacted with the creation of military theatre commands.
The need for wider consultations was felt after a presentation on the proposed theatre commands was made at the top level in the ministry of defence. Sources said that the proposal suggested the integration of paramilitary forces, which fall under the Ministry of Home Affairs, into theatre commands as well.
Other suggestions that may require external consultations include giving service extensions to current military commanders to take over the newly created theatres. This would place them in a new hierarchy within the military system, giving them a stature higher that the Vice Chiefs of the three services.
Differences over the new proposed theatre commands came to the surface during a high level meeting in the defence ministry last week,