India, Pakistan discuss demilitarization of Siachen

Published: May 30, 2011

In this handout photo released by the Indian Ministry of Defence on May 30, 2011, visiting Pakistani Defence Secretary Lieutenant General Syed Ather Ali (L) talks with Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony in New Delhi on May 30, 2011, during two-day Defence Secretary level talks between the two nations regarding the Siachen glacier. Top defence officials from India and Pakistan kicked off talks on May 30, to discuss a disputed Himalayan glacier that brought the neighbours to the brink of war in 1984. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DEHLI: India and Pakistan Monday discussed demilitarization of Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest militarised zone, in a “constructive framework”, picking up threads of the issue after a gap of three years, Press Trust of India PTI news agency reported.

The issue was discussed at 12th round of two-day Defence Secretary level talks between two sides. “The talks were held in a constructive framework. Both sides apprised each other of their perception about Siachen issue and also discussed the surrounding issues,” Indian Defence Ministry officials said. Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar led the Indian delegation with his Pakistani counterpart Lt General (Retd) Syed Ather Ali.

The Pakistani Defence Secretary met Indian Defence Minister A K Antony in the afternoon for over 20 minutes, PTI said.

The decision to resume talks between the two countries was taken last year during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani in Thimpu, Bhutan when they decided to take forward the dialogue process.

Pakistan delegation has two civilian officials and four military officers. The Indian side includes Special Secretary R K Mathur, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt General A M Verma and Surveyor General S Subha Rao.

The two sides may come up with a joint statement tomorrow after the talks on Tuesday, Indian officials said.

Siachen, with an area of over 2500 sq km, the world’s highest militarised zone, has been a long pending issue between India and Pakistan over differences on the location of 110-km long Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) which passes through Soltoro Ridge and Siachen Glacier.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • May 30, 2011 - 10:56PM

    Both the Countries should make a deal to occupy the top of this disputed area for 6 months each. There must be souverign Guarantee to implement this Agreement to ensure execution and fairness.

    By this way they will be able to save lot of money on Defence of this costliest place which is non-strategic and has not commercial or political value.Recommend

  • G. Din
    May 30, 2011 - 11:27PM

    @Mr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Dream on!Recommend

  • Thinking
    May 30, 2011 - 11:27PM

    This is an important issue to resolve. The money saved which is currently wasted on defending this glacier could be used to build schools in both India and Pakistan which will help the youth, create a better educated workforce, improve relations, and most importantly, help people pull themselves out of poverty.Recommend

  • Ashok
    May 31, 2011 - 12:11AM

    Saleem Siddiqi,

    Given Pakistan’s inability to abide by treaties in the past, that would be a horrendous idea. Rather, What would need to happen is a deal where joint offices of Pakistani and Indian troops are created around Siachen. Yes, that would mean some Indian presence on the Pakistani side, and some Pakistani presence on the Indian side. This would also be a form of checks and balances on troop levels and guard against violations.

    I don’t see any other way going forward.Recommend

  • Shimon
    May 31, 2011 - 12:28AM

    Mr. Saleem Siddiqi: No way Pakistan is the last bastion of the Mulim Ummah and the leader… It cannot make any compromise else the whole Ummah will be let down.Everybodys’s Jihad has and must be Pakistan business common sense must and cannot be allowed to reign Recommend

  • tahir
    May 31, 2011 - 2:45AM

    we will conquer india soon insallahRecommend

  • Truth_Prevails
    May 31, 2011 - 9:19AM

    @Ashok: You are a funny guy. Pakistan’s inability to abide by treaties? Man you are totally out of this world. 1) UN Security Resolution on Kashmir 2) Sindh Taas Treaty 3) Occupation of Siachen by Indains (it was never militarized Before 1980s)… My friend, its India to be blamed for all this. For all the issues, root causes can easily be traced back to India by even a kid.
    Siachen should be demilitarized and Indians should go back to their positions prior to 1980s.Recommend

  • Khurram
    May 31, 2011 - 9:24AM

    @Tahir; ” we will conquer india soon insallah”.
    I would never have known, had I not read the above lines that my country is capable of conquering India soon. Brother Tahir I am not amused I hope you are not serious, it is just a joke. We are mired in the ugliest mess and the very survival of our country is at stake. I really do not understand how can you afford to say such Quixotic things?Recommend

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