NEW DELHI: Virtually dismissing overtures made by Pakistan for a peaceful resolution of the Siachen issue, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony on Friday cautioned India against expecting any breakthrough when defence secretaries meet in Islamabad later in June.
Antony said “no dramatic announcement or decision” should be expected, thereby by virtually dismissing any hope that the meeting offered.
“Don’t expect dramatic announcement or decision on an issue which is very very important for us, especially in the context of national security… From one discussion, you can’t expect a dramatic announcement,” Antony said.
Interacting with reporters, Antony said Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma will explain India’s stand during the talks with Pakistan.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Security met on Thursday and discussed the Siachen issue. The gist wast that the stumbling blocks remain the same: authentication of the current military positions of the two sides.
Earlier this year, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani had said there should be a peaceful resolution of the Siachen issue, which had risen hopes that a negotiated settlement to demilitarise the area might be on the anvil. However, India, which had initially welcomed Kayani’s comments, sought authentication of military positions to which Pakistan was opposed to.
During a visit to Siachen in 2005, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that the two countries should work to convert the highest battlefield into a mountain of peace.
The Siachen troop withdrawal issue has gained prominence in Pakistan following a massive avalanche which buried an entire Pakistan army forward operating base on April 7, resulting in the death of 129 soldiers and 11 civilian contractors.
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