No change in Pakistan's Siachen policy: Foreign Office

Published: April 19, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s policy on the Siachen issue has not changed and it is ready to talk to India over all controversial aspects, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.

Foreign Office Spokesman Muazzam Ali Khan, during a weekly briefing, said that secretary-level defence talks with India will be held in Islamabad, but no date has been decided yet. He added that the Siachen issue is part of the talks, and demanded that India retreat back to the pre-1984 position.

The Foreign Office spokesman further said that no new soldiers are being deployed to Siachen.

A recent avalanche in Siachen resulted in the death of more than 100 Pakistan soldiers, building up pressure on both the countries to withdraw troops from the “world’s highest battlefield”.

Commenting on the re-opening of Nato supply routes, Khan said that no final decision has been taken in the matter but the defence committee has allowed the formation of a work-plan, and the decision will be taken only in the perspective of the parliament’s resolution.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Tony Singh
    Apr 19, 2012 - 3:16PM

    Seems Army and the civilian govt has reversed their roles. Now Army wants to talk peace while the govt wants status quo!

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  • G. Din
    Apr 19, 2012 - 3:50PM

    “…,demanded that India retreat back to the pre-1984 position.”
    Fat chance! You are in no position to demand anything!!!!
    Sign on the dotted line or stay home!

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  • Lala Gee
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:17PM

    The only fair solution to the problem is to restore the pre 1984 position as per Simla Accord. Both the armies must go back to their previous positions and declare the Siachen glacier as demilitarized zone open only for mountaineering expeditions from both countries.

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  • Dr V. C. Bhutani
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Pakistan is one place where its right hand does not know what its left hand is doing. There have been voices emanating from no less a person than a former prime minister of Pakistan that Indian and Pakistani troops should withdraw from Siachen, thereby achieving demilitarization of the glacier, where it has been said that on both sides only one fifth of the casualties are because of military operations and four fifths because of the extreme weather. Maintaining troops there is an expensive idea, to put it mildly, and it does not really make sense to maintain troops there at all. The former prime minister also said that Pakistan should take the initiative to start talks with India for this purpose. The interior minister of Pakistan has criticized the former prime minister for suggesting unilateral withdrawal of Pakistan’s troops from Siachin: it seems the former prime minister suggested nothing of the kind. The Pakistan army chief has also said that all disputes between India and Pakistan should be resolved by negotiations and that the two countries should learn to live in coexistence. It is to be noted that the president and the prime minister of Pakistan have nothing to say on the subject. And now a spokesman of the Pakistani foreign office “demands” – yes, “demands”, nothing less – that India should withdraw its troops from Siachin – as if he thought that India would rush to comply and come running to file a completion report. We all seem to be living in a world of make believe where no one knows what is going on, people do not coordinate their statements, and they manage to contradict each other so often. No one should expect that diplomacy can be conducted through the media. The way to go forward is quiet talking without fanfare or too many statements by either side. But, then, I am a mere concerned Indian citizen.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 19 Apr 2012, 1723 ISTRecommend

  • Mogambo
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Accept Indian positions at Siachen.End of story.

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  • Concerned
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Gen Kayani statement on Siachen and defence spending was welcomed by Indian spokes person today but this turn about is surely a setback which would hurt Pakistan more than India.

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  • Usman
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:44PM

    Finally some sense by the FO. Now let’s wait for Nawaz Sharif to make another silly statement.

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  • Raj - USA
    Apr 19, 2012 - 6:28PM

    Nawaz Sharif gives a statement and his own brother Shabaz Sharif gives a totally contradictory statement. However, the fact is that the Army shall have the final word in both countries.

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  • Z.Khan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 8:15PM

    @Dr V. C. Bhutani:
    Regrettably what ever you said has to be accepted as truth. Point scoring is normal tactics by political parties but on such like tragic events human aspect should get priority. What ever ex PM of Pakistan and current COAS said makes sense. Not understood why sudden need was felt for such statement by foreign ministry.

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  • Hamid
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:10PM

    Awesome Sir Awesome Decision. Salute Mr. Ashfaq

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  • Brajanarayan
    Apr 20, 2012 - 2:53AM

    About Siachen, India and Pakistan will take decisions as per their strategic interest and not on emotional or financial considerations.Pakistan must understand that India can not and will not revert back to 1984 position and why should at all? It is a military gain and must not be lost.There is nothing called sacrifice in international relations and every country decides in accordance with its national interest. Can Pakistan give India back the occupied Kashmir, which it gained through its military adventure in 1947? Can Bangladesh remerge with Pakistan, which was possible after a war? These are all futile and fruitless talks.Pakistan should never expect India to give up its military advantage in Siachen just because it is a wasteland and does not serve any purpose.The area has high strategic importance. This is the reason why the problem is not solved till now. India will agree to withdraw if its gained position is accepted by other party. This is my view as an ordinary citizen and people has every right to disagree.

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  • Truthbetold
    Apr 20, 2012 - 4:53AM

    @Lala Gee:

    “The only fair solution to the problem is to restore the pre 1984 position as per Simla Accord. Both the armies must go back to their previous positions and declare the Siachen glacier as demilitarized zone open only for mountaineering expeditions from both countries.”

    The problem is the Indians can’t trust Pakistan on the Simla or any other agreement. Kargil transgression was a violation of Simla agreement.

    But, let’s face the reality. The Indians and afford to stay on Siachen indefinitely. The cost impact on India is minuscule in comparison with its GDP and defense expenditure. It appears that Pakistan has no leverage to demand anything. Of course, it can train and send terrorists into India, particularly Kashmir. But, that strategy hasn’t worked in three decades. In fact, it has backfired on Pakistan manifested as increased domestic radicalism, extremism and terrorism. Sometime, we all have to learn when to stop fighting an increasingly losing battle when the enemy has already won the larger war.

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  • Apr 20, 2012 - 5:48AM

    @Concerned: Never know like past stage being set for another back stab. This time more dangerous.

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  • Apr 20, 2012 - 8:16AM

    @Lala Gee:

    After Kargil, what guarantee is there that Pakistan will not occupy the crucial heights? All India is asking for is a guarantee that it will not, so that everyone can go home knowing things are peaceful.

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  • vigilant
    Apr 20, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @Indian Trolls
    There was no contradiction between Army chief statement or Foreign Office statement….they are just same…..i think you need to grow-up

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