Pakistan Army director general military operations (DGMO) called his Indian counterpart on Thursday and offered assistance for the rescue of Indian Army personnel who went missing after an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier area.
Ten Indian soldiers were feared buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in the India-held portion of Kashmir on Wednesday, The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.
“In the early hours of today, 10 soldiers were hit by an avalanche at the northern Siachen Glacier.”
An Indian army statement said the post was being manned by one junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck.
However, the Indian DGMO declined Pakistan’s offer for help in rescuing Indian soldiers, saying necessary resources had already been put in place.
“During the conversation, he offered Pakistani help which was declined for now saying that enough resources have been put in place,” Times of India quoted sources as saying.
Avalanches and landslides are common at the Siachen Glacier during the winter and temperatures there can drop as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.
In January four soldiers were killed by an avalanche, while last year another four died when their vehicle was buried under an avalanche near Leh, the main city in the high-altitude region known as Ladakh.
An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them from avalanches, landslides, frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat.
Afghan, Pakistan DGMOs meet
Separately, an Afghan delegation visited Rawalpindi and met the Pakistani DGMO to discuss bilateral security and border management.
According to the ISPR, there was an agreement during the meeting that none of the countries will allow terrorists use their soil for their activities.
The meeting was a sequel to Army chief General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Kabul in December, wherein military interaction between the two countries were decided, followed by a meeting of Corps Commanders last week.
Both sides expressed resolve to continue interaction for better bilateral military to military coordination.
The meeting comes as head of Afghanistan’s top spy agency is due to travel to Islamabad on Thursday on a crucial visit that seeks to restore trust marred by a blame game between the two neighbours.
Earlier on December 27, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to take actions against elements that were hampering the Afghan peace process.
The decisions were taken during Army chief General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Kabul where he held detailed talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr Abdullah Abdullah.