India pours cold water on Siachen talks

Published: June 9, 2012

AK Antony says defence secretaries meeting unlikely to break impasse. PHOTO: EPA/FILE

NEW DEHLI: Virtually dismissing Pakistan’s overtures for a peaceful resolution of the Siachen issue, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony cautioned New Delhi against expecting any breakthrough at the meeting of defence secretaries from both countries in Islamabad on June 11 and 12. “Do not expect any dramatic announcement or decision on an issue which is very important for us, especially in the context of (our) national security…  You cannot expect a dramatic announcement from one discussion,” Antony said while interacting with reporters after felicitating athletes from the country’s three services in New Delhi.

He added Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma will explain the Indian stance on Siachen during the talks with his Pakistani counterpart.

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security discussed Siachen while meeting on Thursday. The stumbling block against any possible breakthrough on the issue remains the same – the authentication of the two sides’ current military positions along the glacier.

Following the massive avalanche that buried a Pakistan Army camp on April 7, killing 129 soldiers and 11 civilians, Islamabad has repeatedly pushed for the demilitarisation of Siachen by both sides. Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has advocated a peaceful settlement of the Siachen issue, raising hopes that troop withdrawal from the ‘world’s highest battlefield’ was imminent.

During his meeting with Indian Premier Manmohan Singh shortly after the incident took place, President Asif Ali Zardari advocated the demilitarisation of Siachen as well.

The Indian side, however, seeks the authentication of military positions along the Siachen Glacier — an idea that Pakistan objects to.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (64)

  • John B
    Jun 9, 2012 - 9:42AM

    I wonder why PAK always demand in her foreign policy. If PAK cannot afford to stay in Saichen she can move out. Why is she asking Indians to move out too.? Is Indians bothering PAK in Saichen ?

    India is asking PAK to authenticate the positions. What is wrong in that and why is PAK objecting to that.?

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  • narayana murthy
    Jun 9, 2012 - 10:47AM

    How come no one realized that this is a tit for tit action for the failure of the visa talks.

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:01AM

    @John B:
    Very funny. You occupy the whole country and then claim it to be yours. Pakistan’s stance is just, please go through details and don’t give verdicts.

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  • iftikhar hussain
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:08AM

    India has been playing with Pakistan and Kashmiries since long and her habbit of backing out from the reached agreements and promises is old.

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  • Shamsuddin
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:11AM

    @narayana murthy:
    These two issues are entirely separate in all respects and just cannot be linked.

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  • Rana
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:12AM

    An end before start as usual!!

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:16AM

    India doesn’t want to resolve all the core and burning issues especially Kashmir and Siachen between India-Pakistan thru dialogues and peace talks and this Indian leaders’ attitude has been proven by such these types of statements on the different occasions.I don’t know why the Pakistani leaders are still trusting Indian leadership despite knowing every thing and why the Pakistani leaders are insisting on strong friendship and business ties with India?

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  • kasim mohd.
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:25AM

    The stumbling block against any possible breakthrough on the issue remains the same – the authentication of the two sides’ current military positions along the glacier.

    The author forgets to mention “By Pakistan”.

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  • Anon..
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:28AM

    Good, because we Pakistanis dont want to move out of Siachen either. It is only our corrupt politicians making the noise.

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  • vasan
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Narayanamurthy : I dont agree. India’s stated position is not unconditional withdrawal from Siachen. India has not changed its position after the UK Citizen’s spanner in the works for the visa. So it is not tit for tat action.

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  • Dr Vikas
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:37AM

    Siachen is very important point for our national security of India , it is a place which (If) India vacates can cause trouble for India as Pak & China can create mischief together . It helps India strategically in monitoring nearby kashmir from heights.

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  • Pak zindabad
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:37AM

    If PAK authenticates the positions this means that PAK has accepted that siachen is a part of India, and that is not possible. PAK shows Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory on its maps as it is under control of indian army while india shows gilgit baltistan and azad kashmir in its maps a part of its own territory even though it is under PAK control. So if India decides to stay up there then so will we, but acknowledging that Kashmir or any other part of kashmir belongs to India is simply not possible!!

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  • kasim mohd.
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:42AM

    The stumbling block against any possible breakthrough on the issue remains the same – the authentication of the two sides’ current military positions along the glacier.

    The author conveniently forgets to mention “By Pakistan”

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  • Ali Rizvi
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Kashmir is not an issue any more. Pakistan has bigger issues to deal with now. Kashmir is now like a speck in wilderness.

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  • Pragmatist
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:47AM

    @iftikhar hussain:
    India did not promise anything on Siachen. Just because Pakistan lost 150 soldiers does not mean India should compromise on Siachen. If Pakistan wants a deal so badly let them mark the present positions of both armies on the map and countersign on the position. That is all India is asking.
    India will never trust Pakistan after Kargil. If India leaves Siachen, Pakistan will invite the Chinese to occupy the area like they have done with parts of PoK.

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  • narayana murthy
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:48AM

    @Shamsuddin

    You are wrong. When Pakistan purposefully failed the visa liberation agreement, Indian news papers reported that Kiyani wanted a solution to Siachen first.

    Now, India is taking Tit for Tit action.

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  • Temur
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:53AM

    {{Following the massive avalanche that buried a Pakistan Army camp on April 7, killing 129 soldiers and 11 civilians, Islamabad has repeatedly pushed for the demilitarisation of Siachen by both sides.}}

    I think the time has come to tell the Pakistani people the truth. The whole Siachen is under the control of the Indian army, not only that but the peaks of Saltoro range are also occupied by them. Islamabad (GHQ) cannot demand the demilitarisation of Siachen by both sides if only on side is occupying the glacier.

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  • Jun 9, 2012 - 11:56AM

    They poured cold water as a part of cold start doctrine.

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  • Shyam
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:02PM

    @Anon

    Good, because we Pakistanis dont want to move out of Siachen either.

    To “move out” first you have to “move in”

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  • BlackJack
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:08PM

    @narayana murthy:
    That is not correct. Visa regimes can be changed at the drop of a hat – and Pakistan is free to dilly-dally as long as they like, as long as they do not blame India for the delay. Agreement on Siachen is an irreversible step and cannot be taken that lightly – I am sure India could give Pakistan some assurance that if they decide on a unilateral troop withdrawal, India will not move another inch beyond their current positions. If Pakistan is too insecure to accept this, then there are two choices, authentication of AGPL or status quo.

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  • vigilant
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:20PM

    India want Peace……… “Universal lie”

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  • Watty
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:24PM

    Pakistan has to choose between sustainable long term peace with India or increasing self imposed isolation leading to slow disintegration. In a globalized economy today, violent militant Islamist groups with their medieval mindsets are total misfits. Their exaggerated and often fake overt public religiosity are impediments to progress. Pakistan has anxiously watched as its close ally China has grown to be India’s largest trading partner. Recently at the SCO summit, China pledged to invest heavily in rebuilding India’s infrastructure. While the world is moving towards interdependence and cooperation, Pakistan sadly has delusions of conquests of Indian Siachen, Indian Kashmir etc. In this new world the guiding force is trade, commerce, education, culture, investments and economics. The days of land conquest has long past.

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  • Hunter Punter
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Lets face the truth. Till kashmir, sianchin, sir creek, water etc etc remain “issues to be discussed”, No progress can be made.
    Progress on India -pak relations for prosperity of both will happen when all these are just ignored and left to be taken up 500 years later. That is how India and China have progressed. Trade is now 60 billion dollars, and both do not threaten each other or interfere in each others internal affairs.
    Pakistan has a choice. either to continue interfereing in india, and holding progress in other fields, or going ahead and seeking peace for next 500 years.
    Kashmir is a pakistani obsession and a mirage. No one in the world is now even interested in hearing pak harp on it again and again and again.. and on and on and on..now world comminity doesnt even pretend they want to listen. they just turn away.

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  • Salman
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:42PM

    It was India who occupied the Siachen glacier and started a conflict not Pakistan so its India who has to back out first. Pakistan only deployed their forces to keep Indians further advancement in check in mid 80s which we have been doing till now.

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  • Polpot
    Jun 9, 2012 - 1:12PM

    “India pours cold water on Siachen talks”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Let no Pakistani say that India is holding Pakistani water…its even pouring cold water…

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  • Arya
    Jun 9, 2012 - 1:39PM

    It is not Pakistani withdrawal but Chinese arrival that bothers India more than anything. That happens, Chinese will say, they are there on Pakistan’s request and Pakistan will say it has nothing to do with Chinese presence. That will be a dispute within a dispute within a dispute!

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  • JK, Toronto.
    Jun 9, 2012 - 1:42PM

    @Ahmer Ali:
    Just because Pakistan doesn’t have much options.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Jun 9, 2012 - 2:44PM

    Bharat would never come to terms with Pakistan on key issues.They only want trade & passage to Afghanistan & CAR.Above all they cannot be allowed to dictate us & control Indian Ocean unchecked & dominate South Asia/ South East Asia. We must protect our interests,so should be done by other countries around.

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  • Proselytyzer Sinners
    Jun 9, 2012 - 3:14PM

    There are many truths that need to be understood here.
    1) Siachen is proving to be too costly for Pakistan and hence an attempt at a graceful exit from the peaks. Disallowed by India.
    2) Solutions to the crux of the whole impasse between India and Pakistan – Kashmir. Pakistan stays off Kashmir and India stays off Sind, Punjab and Baluchistan.
    3) The trust deficit that exists cannot be sorted out by solutions to trivial issues like Siachen. Trade, co operation on terror camps/terrorists, core issues need to be handled first.
    Dismal attempts like Siachen won’t hold water with India.

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  • Rise n Shine
    Jun 9, 2012 - 3:22PM

    @salman
    Siachin was supposed to be no man’s land. As per the agreement signed between the two countries nobody had any ownership to it. It was the Pakistani side that started including Siachin in their maps and started issuing mountaineering expedition passes for it, with the Americans backing that stand. Both countries wanted to establish their presence on the mountaintops, its simply that India got their first and has pushed Pakistan out time and again. As off now India controls Siachin fair and sqaure, if Pakistan wants to move out, nobody is stopping it.

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  • Menon
    Jun 9, 2012 - 3:47PM

    @Pragmatist:

    What is wrong with you sir? You trying to reason with population that doesn’t know how to spell reason or truth!

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  • Menon
    Jun 9, 2012 - 3:52PM

    @narayana murthy:

    Why is visa liberalization important to India? It is not. It is fraught with more danger than it is worth to India. If Pakistan wants to tie it anything they want, let them.

    There is nothing for India from it other than increased security cost to make sure it doesn’t become a vehicle to push in more terrorists.

    Personally, I believe it is stupid idea for India to liberalize visa for Pakistani’s. I will give it China before Pakistan.

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  • Knotty
    Jun 9, 2012 - 3:54PM

    Thank you India for proving that our forefathers were right.
    .

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  • Amarjit singh
    Jun 9, 2012 - 4:11PM

    Dear @Ahmer Ali:. India never said that they do not want to solve the problem , bcz when ever they come with positive thing or india takes any step down from their , pakistani Troops militants comes on that position , how and Why ? Who is responsible for Kargil war ? India really wants to take a step down from their. In the end we are neighbour’s and we should live like a friends not like enemy’s . So indian goverment do not want to take risk again. Do not take it personally.. No personal attention in this message , jst explain u what one normal person thinks … Peace….

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  • Cosmo
    Jun 9, 2012 - 4:21PM

    @vigilant: “Pakistan is a country”…… a desparate mirage!!

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  • Adil
    Jun 9, 2012 - 7:11PM

    neither will india withdraw from siachen and neither will it ever give up on kashmir…period…now if pakistanis can think peace…we think peace too…if they wish to train their guns and snatch kashmir/siachen, then we are ready for that too…it’s up to pakistan what it wants…india will give whatever pakistan wants…peace or further misery…

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  • Vigilant
    Jun 9, 2012 - 7:38PM

    @Cosmo:
    How many times in history India was a country with todays borders under Hindu rule???????………may be once or twice…..for a very brief period of time. Even today many Indian introduce themselves Kerla, Hyderabadi or Assam then Indians…….now what is India…….an ultimate mirage!!

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  • Its (still) the EconomyStupid
    Jun 9, 2012 - 8:10PM

    US ended conflict with Russia without firing a shot. It was simply done just by increasing the cost of maintaining the hostility. India has borrowed the page from the same book to resolve the conflict with Pakistan and Siachen is just a step in this direction. Each decision has a cost associated with it and one should be willing to deal with it. It reminds me of an old proverb If it is too hot for you then get out of the kitchen.

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  • Akbar
    Jun 9, 2012 - 8:57PM

    @kasim mohd.:
    Far more serious issue is whether Pakistan is stable enough to retain its current borders. the world and India know this answer very well and have no iota of doubt. No wonder Indians do not want to talk to a country that may not have clear current borders in 2020 seriously!!!! To weak a nation to even demand anything forget about being treated equally. i doubt even Bangladesh will consider Pakistan as an equal.

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  • Shyam
    Jun 9, 2012 - 9:06PM

    @Vigilant
    now what is India…….an ultimate mirage!!
    Or maybe you need glasses

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  • faraz
    Jun 9, 2012 - 10:21PM

    @Adil: Right. This proves that Hindu banya is only interested in trade. Unfortunately, trade without resolving outstanding issues is not possible. I hope next government will be tying the trade with resolution of the issues, mainly the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir.

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  • Jun 9, 2012 - 10:48PM

    In simple terms, talks are a matter of give and take. India wants NOTHING from Pakistan, so India rightly couldn’t care less if talks succeed or don’t.

    The advantages of being status quo.

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  • Ak
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:16PM

    @Vigilant:
    Your comment shows how ignorant you are and that you are making things up. Kerala it seems, do you even know that people from the state are called Malyalis.
    @faraz:
    As if that has worked in the past. Some Pakistanis think that normalizing trade relations is only in India’s interest. Frankly, the brutal truth is that Pakistan has no bargaining power with India.

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  • G. Din
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:42PM

    @faraz: to Adil
    “I hope next government will be tying the trade with resolution of the issues, mainly the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir.”
    You have been tying anything with anything but, in the end, you have only tied yourselves in knots. As many in this forum have pointed out, you have absolutely no leverage to force India to agree to anything. Take whatever little you are given and move on. Pardon me but even that is a problem because you have absolutely no idea where or what to move on to!

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  • Wonderful
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @Pak zindabad: ‘Kashmir under control of indian army’
    Which distorted reference book or newspaper did you get this information? It has an elected Government. Yes, it has Indian. So do you have in the whole of Pakistan. We are just copying your style.

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  • Wonderful
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:14AM

    @faraz:
    Believe me that IF IK does comes, he will do the reverse as you want. He has been to India so many times and he knows the good pulse and the strength of the Indian people.

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  • vishaka
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:43AM

    Fellow Indians commenting on this sttory::
    I am sure you know, by now, how hopeless it is to talk sense to people whose minds are caged in medieval thinking. India should learn to simply ignore them. Millions of Indians wonder why PM Manmohan Singh is going soft on Pakistan despite the latter’s belligerence in the past, particularly in Mumbai where more than 160 innocent lives of men, women and children were lost in army machine-guns of terrorists from Pakistan. How can one make peace with a society whose premieval character of violence is all pervasive? The only language they understand is strength. Peace based on strength, as India’s greatest strategist Chanakya put it, has more shelf life than one that operates on a fragile ground If you lose sight of this principle, you are doomed to the wiles of an unpredictable and unreliable opponent. Besides, time is on India’s side — not on Pakistan’s. That country is bankrupt; the US has almost stopped bankrolling a bankrupt state. Pakistanis have a lot of hot air but not the realism and pragmatism — let alone the resources — to hold out much longer. Why bother even to talk about Siachen? They will be willing to talk and give in on almost anything — just wait for sometime.. Recommend

  • Sandip
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:48AM

    “Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has advocated a peaceful settlement of the Siachen issue, raising hopes that troop withdrawal from the ‘world’s highest battlefield’ was imminent.”
    Imminent from whose side? Pakistan’s? Since India did not give any such indication from it’s end.
    This has been Pakistan’s bane. It starts imagining something in its mind and then thinks that applies to the rest of the world as well.

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  • iftikhar hussain
    Jun 10, 2012 - 5:32AM

    U Indians just remember USA is the enemy of its friends, it will push u against Pakistan and at the nick of time when u would require actual help it will leave u. C the fate of many of its allies specially in Muslim World.

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  • Wonderful
    Jun 10, 2012 - 8:10AM

    I was reading a news report today on The Hindu which says there WAS an agreement on Siachen in 1992 and India backed off. If it is true, then India is indeed wrong. We should sign this agreement immediately.
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3509787.ece?homepage=true

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  • dude
    Jun 10, 2012 - 9:08AM

    @iftikhar hussain:
    there is no friendship in international relations, only their own interests. if you think that there is something called such friendship then you are fools.
    @Vigilant:

    Even today many Indian introduce
    themselves Kerla, Hyderabadi or Assam
    then Indians…….now what is India…….an
    ultimate mirage!!

    one of the most funniest and ignorant comments in this decade. then that thought made you to think that India is going to divide into 50 separate countries? you don’t know a bit about India and its working. its unity in diversity, and it means more than these simple words. i am from such one corner and i usually indicates myself as from such region since its our habit. but i will be there to fight against enemies for other corners and its people. ;)

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 10, 2012 - 10:24AM

    @Amarjit singh:
    If this is so and you are really sincere and honest to resolve the Kashmir and Siachen issues as you have written in your replying comment then go to United Nation Organization without wasting more time and resolve all the core and burning issues between India-Pakistan especially Kashmir and Siachen in the light of United Nation’s resolutions peacefully so that we could live peacefully like the strong,true and real friends with much the best and excellent friendship and business ties permanently and forever.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 10, 2012 - 10:39AM

    @Adil:
    You are always most welcome and we accept your challenge and we welcome you.Please come on and test your abilities in this field practically.The ground and horse both are ready.

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  • Rise n Shine
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:00PM

    @vigilant
    How many times in history India was a country with todays borders under Hindu rule???????………may be once or twice…..for a very brief period of time.”

    There were no countries anywhere in the world before the 19th century. The nation state is a fairly modern concept. India as a landmass was under different rulers who either practiced Hinduism or Buddhism (an Indian faith) right from the end of the Indus valley civilization till the establishment of the Delhi sultanate in 1206, that’s over 2500 years. The rulers who practiced Islam showed up in the 8th century and were only able to rule a major part of India from the 13th to the 18th century and that too under fierce resistance from all quarters. The only Muslim rulers who were able to establish a pan-india empire were Mohammed bin Tuhglaq and then the Mughal rulers on wards of Akbar. The Mughal empire too was in ruins by 1707 under assault from the Hindu Maratha empire.

    @k salim jahangir
    namely what interests are these?…..

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  • hassan
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Just because you were all out for 120, you can’t ask the opposition team to declare at 120.

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  • Salman
    Jun 10, 2012 - 1:46PM

    @Rise n Shine and all the Indians who have “liked” your comment :

    Pakistan is already connected with China from North thru KK pass. This is lame excuse which India uses it to justify its presence there. Good that Siachen issue is being highlight now where Indians first used to believe that it was Pakistan who has occupied the mountains first and Indian Army is just there to defend against their further advancement lol. And what do you mean by ” India got their first and has pushed Pakistan out time and again.” ? when did Pakistan ever tried that ? Pakistan only sent its forces in Siachen when India occupied those disputed mountains and wanted to further sneaked into the region until they were stopped.

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  • Deb
    Jun 10, 2012 - 2:12PM

    @Maulana Diesel

    @John B:
    Very funny. You occupy the whole country and then claim it to be yours.

    Even if it’s occupied, for the sake of arguement; you should be the last person to complain about any sort of occupation.
    The piece of land that you inhabit today was also occupied by people from far away places about 700 years ago and that’s the genesis of the country that you flaunt today.
    Actually I would expect you to support occupation.

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  • Basit
    Jun 10, 2012 - 5:20PM

    FACT: India violated the Simla agreement by occupying heights of Siachen glacier against the words of the agreement which said that current positions on LoC would be maintained. Technically, this means the Simla agreements are null and void as per actions of India.

    FACT: Any agreement on Siachen means that India must first withdraw its occupying forces and then Pakistani side can do the same.

    FACT: India spends far more on its troops than Pakistan as they are higher up. Mother nature doe not care whose camp it destroys in the mountains. It was Pakistani camp today, but tomorrow it may be Indian side.

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  • vickram
    Jun 10, 2012 - 8:37PM

    @Basit:
    FACT: India is occupying a position that is higher the Pakistani position. You think India would be crazy to surrender the advantage they have gained with so much cost of men and money ?

    FACT: India can afford to keep its soldiers in the higher regions of Siachen. But Pak can’t.

    FACT: All these days, there was not a whisper about Siachen. Now, just because you have found it unviable, and just because you don’t want to lose any more soldiers, you are asking India also to vacate the place. If it is unviable, you withdraw unilaterally, which would be sensible, considering your resource crunch.

    FACT: Indians may be stupid, but, not that stupid.Recommend

  • Jim
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:06AM

    Kashmir is not a burning issue. Karachi is. More people are killed in religious, sectarian, communal violence in Karachi than in Kashmir or for that matter in all of India. Sorry Pakistan, you cooked your own goose.

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  • Cosmo
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:51AM

    @Vigilant: Facts on IPL-the national obsession
    “Mumbai Indians are currently led by Harbhajan Singh, otherwise captain of the Punjab state team; the Chennai Super Kings are led by Dhoni, from Jharkhand; and the Rajasthan Royals are led by Rahul Dravid from Bangalore. The IPL is decidedly urban India and this is, perhaps, its greatest strength.” stated in an article which has appeared on this very same news forum.
    India is not for hindus, nor for muslims , its not for sikhs or jains. It is a country for very simple human beings, who are beyond the boundaries of religion, cast, creed or color. It is a country where we proudly speak more than 1000 languages. It is a country of million hungry people and 1000 billionairs. It is a country that is living in reality, trying to understand it short commings and marching ahead and taking the issues head on. India is unity in divesity, it is a country of extremes. Most of all it is such a nobel concept which am sure us lies outside the perview of your level of understanding.

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  • Polpot
    Jun 11, 2012 - 10:38AM

    @Cosmo: “Facts on IPL-the national obsession”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Frankly I dont expect most Pakistanis to comprehend what you say.

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  • iftikhar hussain
    Jun 11, 2012 - 2:01PM

    @vishaka:
    This shows how ignorant u indians are. Ur media is not free as ours. We r seeing worst and we spell out what exactly we see. U people r seeing nothing. What happens in Kashmir and other troubled parts of India is never told to u. So come out of illusions and be realistic about urself

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  • Polpot
    Jun 11, 2012 - 5:24PM

    @iftikhar hussain: “Ur media is not free as ours.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Indeed what you write is supported by the highest number of
    Journalists’ murders in Pakistan, usually by “unknown” forces!

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