Pakistan Army offers to help rescue Indian soldiers buried under Siachen avalanche

Published: February 4, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

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.

10 Indian soldiers missing after Siachen avalanche

“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.

Meeting held between Pak, Afghan military commanders at Peshawar Corps Headquarters

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.

Pakistan, Afghanistan to take action against armed groups not joining 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.

Reader Comments (18)

  • Naveed
    Feb 4, 2016 - 4:29PM

    This is great gesture by Pak Army, despite knowing it was India who forcefully captured siachin in 84…….
    but kudos to this humanitarian gesture by Pak ArmyRecommend

  • Rajive Dev
    Feb 4, 2016 - 4:30PM

    Love you Pak army for this kind of gesture. We all need to learn how valuable humans are. Recommend

  • London Banker
    Feb 4, 2016 - 4:31PM

    This is why I dont pay my taxes in Pakistan anymore. We need to decide what side are we on. I think we are clearly on the side where we in principal agree that they have occupied our territory. What is this offer for, knowing it will be rejected. The only goodwill that exists in this world is in financial statements.Recommend

  • Feb 4, 2016 - 4:37PM

    A good humanitarian gesture by Pakistan army as always. Hope India accepts the offer in time so that precious lives can be saved Recommend

  • Ali S
    Feb 4, 2016 - 4:56PM

    Great gesture by Pak Army. Things are hopefully moving in the right direction.Recommend

  • Azfar bilal
    Feb 4, 2016 - 4:59PM

    Good. Chivalry must remain the hallmark of a professional Army. Recommend

  • Aisha
    Feb 4, 2016 - 5:40PM

    @London Banker: Charity begins in the home and more than 100 kids died in Thar. When the Indians did not ask for our help why are we going there? Did we not learn the lesson from KSA to stay out of problems when not asked to get involved for one and two we have no face to save as problems at home. The Indians will laugh in our face that we could not help in Thar with our Pak military yet are going across the border. Why not help in Thar? Shabaz Sharif got doctors from CMH pindi to help but Thar not matter. India does to our Army since its great PR for the ISPR till the Indians throw a shoe in our face saying get out and stay out. Recommend

  • Aamir - Toronto
    Feb 4, 2016 - 6:43PM

    @London Banker…….Why wonder if you don’t pay taxes in Pakistan.

    Brother, we all are humans and sometimes we have to let go of our animosity towards others !!! Recommend

  • feedback
    Feb 4, 2016 - 7:12PM

    Simply explains that establishment on both sides of the border are working on the same agenda, that is to be friends among themselves while the common civilian citizens are meant to hate each other. In other words, our generals can have a hi tea across the borders together but the common men are meant to abuse each other.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Feb 4, 2016 - 7:22PM

    If india accept this offer it can be a step toward de militarization of siachen which is in favour of both countries, we just need to build trust and go back to position of 1984,it is madness to keep our army in such extreme environment for just chest thumpingRecommend

  • London Banker
    Feb 4, 2016 - 7:59PM

    If you read my comment you will realise we are arguing the same thing Aisha.Recommend

  • someone
    Feb 4, 2016 - 8:42PM

    This happened inside Indian territory. How can Pakistan help in it? Pakistan’s own records of rescue is abysmal. It could not rescue those hundreds of its own soldiers who got buried in avalanche few years back in Gayari.Recommend

  • nasser
    Feb 4, 2016 - 9:13PM

    @Aisha:
    If you reciprocate in the same manner as Indians do then what high moral ground you claid to be on? As for Thar please let us know what you have done for unfortunate onew? Soldiers hit by avalanche are also human .They have suffered due to the false pride and nationalist sentiments of idiots sitting on both sides and ruling the poor masses. Please enlighten what have you or your inks have done to reject those idiots?
    @London Banker:
    True to your NAME you are concerned with money. Humanity and compassion towards fellow human being is useless for yours type.Recommend

  • Asok
    Feb 5, 2016 - 3:03AM

    Of course, it would have been a PR win for Pak if India had accepted. Nevertheless, I appreciate the offer, and I hope India turned it down only because help was truly not needed.Recommend

  • Hameed
    Feb 5, 2016 - 5:25AM

    Pakistan Army should try to help its own people first, security situation and all that.Recommend

  • Feb 5, 2016 - 5:27AM

    This is great humanitarian gesture by Pakistan Army. But i Dont Think So india Will Accepts This offerRecommend

  • nasser
    Feb 5, 2016 - 11:33AM

    @Asok:
    Obviously your false sense of pride supercedes the importance of those poor soles who have lost their lives and for those who at least want to see that their loved ones are given a decent last rites.Very sad.Recommend

  • brar
    Feb 28, 2016 - 6:45PM

    8000 died since 1984 because none of the sons ,daughters or relatives of politicians ever joins the Armed Forces had it been so the glacier would have been demilitarised long ago yet it will be good for both Nations if the same is done even now.Recommend

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