WikiLeaks: Indian army poses as obstacle to Siachen solution

Published: June 2, 2011
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Indian Defence Minister AK Antony (C) is briefed by army personnel as he visits a forward operating post on the Siachen Glacier. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony (C) is briefed by army personnel as he visits a forward operating post on the Siachen Glacier. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

There has been repeated failure to reach a solution on the Siachen dispute due to the Indian army’s resistance to giving up its territory under any condition, according to latest cables released by Wikileaks.

According to the 2006 cable classified by the Deputy Chief of Mission Geoff Pyatt, the reasons for the Indian army’s resistance are its strategic advantage over China, internal army corruption, distrust of Pakistan and a desire to keep hold of advantageous territory that thousands of Indian soldiers have died protecting.

The cable stated that every time India and Pakistan came “very close” to an agreement on the Siachen issue, the prime minister of the day would be forced to back out by the Indian defence establishment, the Congress Party hardline and opposition leaders.

When the 2006 India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary talks set up a joint mechanism for discussing counter-terrorism issues ended with rumours that Pakistan had made a concession on Siachen, observers had said that the prime minister will be significantly constrained in any part of his agenda with Pakistan in the coming months, especially in the face of significant opposition from within his own party and an emboldened BJP that viewed the joint mechanism as an opportunity to portray the Congress Party as soft on terrorism.

The cable stated that former Indian Ambassador Parthasarthy, who personally dissuaded Rajiv Gandhi from making a similar deal on Siachen in 1989, said this concession does not satisfy India’s underlying concern — that points be agreed to in advance so the Pakistani Army would be unable to simply march back in to the area and take the high peaks around the Siachen glacier that India currently controls. The cable further said:

Parthasarthy further remarked that he had discussed the issue with senior Congress Party members, who have significant sway over Sonia Gandhi and Congress Party politics, and there is “no way in hell” that they would allow India to withdraw under disadvantageous conditions.  He added that the “Prime Minister won’t get away with what he is trying to do.”  He said Musharraf’s book had convinced many in the Indian army that they cannot trust Pakistan, especially when he could blame an invasion of Indian territory on “mujahideen.”

In another cable, Ambassador David Mulford citing various obstacles to an agreement on Siachen wrote about the first obstacle:

Army Chief JJ Singh appears on the front page of the “Indian Express” seemingly fortnightly to tell readers the Army cannot support a withdrawal from Siachen.  Given India’s high degree of civilian control over the armed forces, it is improbable that Gen. Singh could repeatedly make such statements without MoD civilians giving at least tacit approval.  Whether or not this is the case, a Siachen deal is improbable while his — and the Army’s — opposition continues to circulate publicly.

On Tuesday, Pakistan and India ended a 12th round of talks over the Siachen Glacier without a hint of agreement on the modalities of a proposed demilitarisation and other key issues related to their tense standoff.

Pakistan and India decided to meet again at a mutually convenient date in Islamabad. New Delhi insisted that Islamabad must authenticate present troop position of the two sides.

While Pakistan insists on maintaining the pre-1972 troop positions, as agreed in the Simla Agreement, India wants its neighbour to authenticate the Actual Ground Position Line both on the maps as well as on the ground. Siachen is considered the “low-hanging fruit” of the India-Pakistan peace process.

Cable Referenced: WikiLeaks no. 8673864523

The full text of the cables can be read on Dawn.com, The Hinduand NDTV. WikiLeaks has previously released cables to other media organisations including Guardian and the New York Times.

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Reader Comments (51)

  • pl/sql
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:35AM

    As long as Pak and China keep playing games in PoK, there will be no resolution to issues such as this one.Recommend

  • Kunal Salunkhe
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:41AM

    Yes, Pakistan is not reliable … if we look at the past 60 years of history Recommend

  • CP
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:44AM

    As usual the Paks twisting and turning words to paint India as the villain. Nothing new IMO.

    The truth is the Indian Army si willing to vacate the next day the Paks recognize the AGPL..but the Paks wont do it and try to put the blame on India.

    You can fool the Paks but not the Indians who know what is the actual position and whose intransigence is causing the problem.

    But I will also mention , whine all you can, we can take the economic toll – it is nothing for us…but consider yours.Recommend

  • Kunal Salunkhe
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:47AM

    yes it is quite difficult to trust Pakistan, if we look the past track record !!Recommend

  • king
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:03PM

    Wikileaks forgotton one more thing. “Indian citizens are also poses as obstacle to Siachen solution” Because now every person in India knows that pakistani millitary is not under civillian control. The day pak millitary comes under control of civillian leadership most of the Indo-pak problems will get resolved. Insha-allah!Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:16PM

    The WikiLeaks is dead right regarding Indian army’s position on Siachin Glacier. Strategically, it makes no sense to vacate this area which is overlooking Chinese and Pak territory. Moreover, there is an element of distrust on the Indian side that it may be re-occupied by Pakistan and further gifted to China, as done by them in the past. Recommend

  • Sunny Deol Pakistani
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:17PM

    Donot worry, I will take care of Indian Army.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2011 - 12:30PM

    It seems that Pakistan needs to kill Army Chief JJ Singh and bury at Siachin in the snow and build a large masoleum so that Indian Generation will not forget that when things can be resolved with talks, why he is so stubborn even though he clearly knows that Indian Army cannot face Pakistan Army otherwise they would have taken Siachin long back. HAHA good for nothing.

    Regards

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg
    South AfricaRecommend

  • Jun 2, 2011 - 12:31PM

    Good. Be stubborn just as the Pakistanis are on security related issues. The posters on this article are not going to go to Siachin anyways… let your soldiers die there. Great stance.Recommend

  • NA
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:43PM

    @All Indians,
    If this is the case then why wasting time and fooling your own people and international community with show of table talks.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:45PM

    India is not Pakistan. The role played by the Army is a professional one and they cannot take any decision that concerns the country without civilian approval. While Indian public is sympathetic to the plight of its brother citizens in Pakistan it is not so to the Powers that be in Pakistan. Every round of talks have been followed by fresh terrorist attacks sponsored by Pakistan. To expect that Indian Government can make any concessions when the public accuses it of inaction against terrorist groups in Pakistan, is an exercise in day dreaming. In India the Rulers fear the voter who is known to throw the mightiest out of Power and into jail.
    The Indian voter will make all concessions on all issues when Pakistan’s rulers forsake double speak and are in a position to walk the talk. Hollow slogans like ” not an inch of our territory will be used to destabilize our neighbours” is not matched by realities. Recommend

  • Manoj
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:48PM

    In India all the decisions are taken by govt. of India and NOT by army. Army gives their view point, if asked to, and accepting or rejecting these views are prerogative of GOI.
    Hence, the headlines seems to be misleading, when it says India army is obstacle. At best it can be said the View or assessment of Indian Army regarding Siachin made govt of India to rethink on the terms and condition of an agreement with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jehangir
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:58PM

    @ Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    I could not understand what you tried to say?
    :( Why dont you write in english?Recommend

  • IamConcerned!
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:02PM

    My my…More Indian readers than Pakistani on a Pakistani website. Obviously they are here to bring negativity and talk rubbish! (exactly what they are doing in foreign press!)

    why have talk with them when we know India can not be trusted!Recommend

  • peshawar
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:09PM

    Its in the nature of Hindus that dont cut the tree, pour hot water daily into its roots and see the result. same is he doing with us.Recommend

  • satyram
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:20PM

    @ NA; Indians are not fooling anyone. Let’s take a look at who’s fooling whom….During 1947-48, just when the British were bidding goodbye to India,Pakistan sent its force to Jammu and Kashmir in the disguise of tribals to start a Muslim revolt ………In mid-1965 Pakistan sent guerrilla forces into the Indian part of Kashmir……a covert infiltration attempt in Kashmir was launched later in the year. The plan was to start a rebellion among local Kashmiris and attack the rebuilding Indian Army thus capturing Kashmir by force, as the Pakistan Army Command believed that it had a qualitative superiority over their neighbours. However this proved over-ambitious as Indian Kashmiris did not support the intruding Pakistan Army and a full-fledged war across the international border (the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965) broke out between India and Pakistan. Despite the impressive performance of the Pakistan Air Force against their Indian counterparts in the early stages of war, it was not able to hold on the Indian trust[19] the Army could not achieve the goal of taking over Indian controlled Kashmir……..then 1971 bangladesh war and 1999 kargil war you know better. Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:20PM

    @Feroz:

    IF you were right why would Mr Vajpaee back track at last minute of signing Kashmir resolution agreement ? Was it not for the pressure of ‘some people’ from IA. When every document was ready and about to be signed.

    All India want is to talk for the sake of it not for solving anything. When Mr Vajpaee backed away in retaliation Kargil happened … Then again CBM era came for 6 Years and nothing was moving forward in terms of solution of issues but the so called CBMs only achieved cross border singing competitions.

    Not a single inch of Pakistan will ever be used if these issues are solved … But people in India use the excuse if they solve Kashmir issue then other insurgencies will become stronger which is a myth as Kashmir issue comes from Partition of Indo-Pak … besides its totally indigenous the proof 80,000 Kashmiris who have died so far … If still not convinced go watch their demos on youtube and you will hear their slogans.

    I personally don’t care about Kashmir with us, with you or an independent one as I don’t live there and have nothing to do with it … besides one should not fight on piece of lands and be happy in what they already have but lets not be hypocrites when talking about reality.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:20PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqui,

    Being a Pakistani i can assure you that the case is entirely opposite. With the sort of army that cannot fight against 4 terrorists occupying a base, i wouldn’t rely on your words. Just 4 men against an entire base, im sure India has atleast 400 men for every Pakistani base. Men that are highly trained and equipped with deadly weapons.

    Stop day-dreaming and come back to reality, what we call as in-flexibility of Indian Army is actually patriotism for Indians, not every Army around the world is like ours, you can’t make the Indian army happy with Plots in DHA, and a few business groups, in exchange for Siachen.Recommend

  • Kunal Salunkhe
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:21PM

    @IamConcerned!

    Please read the history from any independent source ..u will come to know who can be trusted & who can’t be …. U have been taught with false history … this is not my personal opinion ..I have seen Pakistani blogs & talk show about contents of Pakistani text books !!! & Unfortunately the one who speaks against this .. referred by so called nationalist Pakistani as Anti- Pakistani …U guys are in denial …Particularly in case of India.. u deny everything which is rational & true Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:30PM

    Exactly! Why does India even bother talking to Pakistan? India can afford to sit on problems but Pakistan cannot.Recommend

  • Hafeez.Indian
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:30PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: Siachen was intially occupied by Pakistan during 1948. But it has lost that territory in 1972 war. (You will get lot of references if you Google it). After that still it is not able to capture back through war. So now pleading to get it back through Dialogues.

    The reality is Pak army is finding it difficult to fight against even with unorganized military like Taliban. India ke saath ladayee tho dhoor ki bath hai. This is known to Pak army also.

    Khuda Hafiz.Recommend

  • Arvind
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:32PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: Where is Pakistan army’s 1971 war monument? Yes you are right Indian army can not face Pakistan Army, because after 1971 war, Pak army has not enough courage to face Indian army.
    @Postman: Well at least our soldiers die saving nation’s pride and land, Pak army is being killed like dogs in there own bases, forget about borders. Leaders are selling nation’s pride (if you have any) to USA, China.
    @IamConcerned!: This is reality, Pakistan is filled with foreigners, Chinese army, US army, NATO. So when whole Pakistan is occupied by foreigners, what else you expect on news site.btw this newspaper is not Pakistani, you know that. Standard of this newspaper is miles ahead of Pak newspapers.Recommend

  • ashwin
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:41PM

    Sign AGPL and recognize the ground position of both armies on the Map. Siachen will be demilitarized simple.why doesn’t Pakistan sign AGPL, why don’t you get your military’s view on AGPL. as for the jingoistic Pakistanis we know what both the armies are capable of achieving, let us not insult each other’s armies. Recommend

  • Waqas
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:55PM

    @ Kunal & Other Indians

    I’m sure for you ‘independent’ source is ‘Indian source’

    When the same wikileaks talks against Pakistan you indians quickly pounce on it and start whining and blaming, but when the same wikileaks talks about two faced indians ( i.e. baghal mein churri mooh mein raam ram) it becomes a ‘biased’ source.

    I dream of a day when Indians stop fooling themselves and others and STOP LYING…. The fact is that India doesnt want solutions to any problems, its only a mantra India and indians keep parroting (one Indian wrote the correct word “BARKING”) only to mislead the world. India and Indians are not to be trusted, we have learned it the hard way….

    India DOES NOT want peace in the region, it wants to be a bully and build its hegemony in the region, which Pakistan wont let happen!!

    Well, chickens have come home to roost, already 50% of India is under direct or indirect Maoist control, soon they will be ruling over your cities; while your army is crapping in its pants while fighting in Kashmir and against Pakistan…India will go back 1500 yrs being ruled by hundred of Rajas and Maharajas. Think about your future, your economy and growth will not save you from what lies ahead.. but hindu baniya thinks of only MONEY, MONEY MONEY!!Recommend

  • kamal
    Jun 2, 2011 - 2:01PM

    why Indian army should give up Siachin? They recaptured it after scarifying so many soldiers.Indian army should vacate it advantage position so that Pakistani can do another Kargil there?Recommend

  • CP
    Jun 2, 2011 - 2:19PM

    Lol at those who think Soldiers are still dying in Siachen……At least on the Indian Side casualties due to weather has been nullified due to advanced thermal shelters, mountain gear and ferrying of more equipment due to the introduction of indigenous Dhruv helis.

    Maybe the Paks are taking casulaties…but NOT the Indian Army any more.Recommend

  • anil
    Jun 2, 2011 - 2:41PM

    @Waqas

    maoists are also Indians.If they capture Indian politics ,that will be the golden day for india as they are aginst corruption ,against corrupt politicians and pro-people.Yes, we only think about money ,because money hai to honey hai.So, stop day dreaming and try to live in present. future will take care of itself.Recommend

  • aamer
    Jun 2, 2011 - 2:43PM

    I appreciate the tribune, who is giving equal oportunity to any nationals, but there is no single newspaper in india, where pakistani can comment. Truth is that pakistanies always try to build good relationship with india. Sania Mirza is current example of best relationship. Waseem Akram is also trying to strentghen the relationship. Hope for the best.Recommend

  • Proud to be a A PakIstani...!
    Jun 2, 2011 - 2:52PM

    we pakistani’s r proud to b pakistani n u indians r not reliable for whole world u r just insects which r creating infection in the world but we knw how to handle u all n we love chinaRecommend

  • Kaism
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:03PM

    @aamer: Visit Times of India website. They are accepting our comments.Recommend

  • Dontknow
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Its really concerning to see more Indians on a Pakistan news website than Pakistanis. At least let us rest in peace in our own news sites! :(

    I don’t think there’s any other country that has its news sites invaded by foreign viewers rather than local. Tribune should introduce measures to only allow comments made by Pak viewers and censor Indians, just like their newspapers don;t publish our comments. Leave tribune.com.pk the purpose it was created for, before it becomes “tribune.com.in”Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:28PM

    I find it funny there are more indians posting here then Pakistanis Recommend

  • Waqas
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:46PM

    @ Anil

    You are the first Indian who has said anything positive about Maoists. This means that they have they have gained ideological foothold among urban Indians too; as per PSY-OPS, first they soften up the target through ideological justification then perpetuate violence to breed fear and stamp out dissent …

    This is exactly what Pakistani Taliban are doing in Pakistan. Welcome to the club!! :-)Recommend

  • Kasim
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:52PM

    @Roflcopter: We are always trying to give equal opportunity. But unfortunately Indians are not caring us and always highlights our shortcomings.Recommend

  • king
    Jun 2, 2011 - 4:28PM

    @Roflcopter: You have fogotten the most important thing. “The word India in the heading.” When indians see word India all indians do get charged up. It’s all in our blood. “Unity” Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2011 - 5:42PM

    Don’t know true/false. One thing I do know is that Siachen is not the territory of Indian Army, its territory of India.Recommend

  • Sam
    Jun 2, 2011 - 5:57PM

    @IamConcerned!:
    Thank you !!!

    Finally someone sees that SO MANY INDIANS here are posting for a reason!! Capitalising on pakistan’s depression!! Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Jun 2, 2011 - 6:15PM

    @peshawar:
    Am an Indian and I would like to believe that your are correct. I like that.Recommend

  • gunjan
    Jun 2, 2011 - 7:13PM

    @Roflcopter
    Why do you have a news concerning India here? We are where the word India is. If you blast our cities, we shall defend with the ideology, the words, at the least.Recommend

  • Omar Haroon
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Rather amusing that the Pakistani ppl here are getting all hot and bothered by the apparent Indian invasion on this news site. If anything, this will go a long way towards reconciliation between both countries. Yet sadly, people continue to antagonize our Indian brothers here (Mind you I’m not condoning those Indian posters that continue to troll and bash everything here without due cause)Recommend

  • sajid imran khan
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:21PM

    Pakistan is not reliable.lolz
    India is very much reliable is just like close an eye and india will stab a knife, this is it.
    PAKISTAN ZIINDABADRecommend

  • delhi_se
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:44AM

    @Waqas: Maoists are not killing innocent civilians anywhere. They attack policemen and rail services and government offices. Please provide me with any incident where the maoists have killed innocent civilians. So comparing it with TTP is just ridiculous.Recommend

  • delhi_se
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:50AM

    @Kasim: And Pakistani never highlights short comings of India? Please look at your brother’s comment up and above. I do appreciate and thank tribune to keep this discussion forum open to all. This is a good medium for venting out our opinion, prejudices and venom. Atleast gives us insight of what others are thinking about us. At some point we may find common grounds until then this is just the beginning of knowing each other. And I once again express my gratitude to editorials for keeping this discussion forum open. There needs to be more such forums where we can share our views. On India side I know rediff and times of India does. But they are not sufficient,we need more. Peace!!Recommend

  • delhi_se
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:58AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: What makes me feel good and at peace is that you and 62 others who recommended your comment will always remain restless since your fantasy will never come true. Recommend

  • Loose Salwar
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:55PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    I pity your patients :(Recommend

  • G. Din
    Jun 3, 2011 - 2:48PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    “…It seems that Pakistan needs to kill Army Chief JJ Singh and bury at Siachin in the snow and build a large masoleum.”
    I am wondering if you are aware that Gen. J. J. Singh retired as the COAS of Indian army quite some time back. So, if you are asking Pakistan to send an assassin, it would be a mistaken killing.
    Aren’t you even a bit ashamed of yourself, being so highly educated, to favour murdering your adversary if he holds views different from yours?Recommend

  • LOL
    Jun 3, 2011 - 3:16PM

    POK? I ask you? Please google what it means. Is it even remotely plausible that a comment containing POK will be the second most “recommended” comment? Forget the Pakistanis, not even many ordinary Indians are so stupid that they will buy it. Clearly, someone is subtly skewing the direction of the debate, not only by posting nonsensical rubbish masquerading as comments, but by abusing the recommended button.
    This is not the first time it has happened. Heaven forbids any mention of India and/or an Op-Ed/editorial even slightly critical of Pakistan and the bashing-fest commences with unrestrained glee. The Express Tribune, which started with a bang as a PAKISTANI newspaper, has (unwittingly?) become the mouthpiece of many a paid Indian propagandists. Thanks to the deluge of comments that invariably ensue an article, it beats the likes of Times of India when it comes to bashing Pakistan non-stop. It is high time to remove the Recommended button and to discourage trolls like pl/sql. Recommend

  • Endo-Atmospheric Interceptor
    Jun 3, 2011 - 4:17PM

    india has Nag Anti-Tank missile

    BrahMos cruise missile

    Sudarshan missile system and Kaveri engine

    Arjun Main Battle Tank

    Hull Mounted Sonar Advanced

    Radar Technology

    Endo-Atmospheric Interceptor

    pakistan has stargegic asset talibanRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 3, 2011 - 9:43PM

    @ all Indians
    you are welcomed here to comment and share ur point of views but avoid hate, I also appreciate tribune to give an open forum to us, whatever the nationality is.
    I regularly visit Times of India website but the comments posted by Indians there are so negative, full of hate and almost same type of comments in every article and news about Pakistan.They don’t welcome us, they dont give positive response to us so I think to comment in TOI is just worthless.Recommend

  • Nirvan
    Jun 4, 2011 - 2:42AM

    As this seems to be a good blog for venting with a key stroke, can we not invite your Pakistani Taliban and other banned terrorist groups to hang up their bomb vests and guns and take up the key board. I am tired of waking up to a daily diet of suicide bombings in your country.
    Let us talk with a view to a resolution. There is too much emphasis on Pakistani military might and capability, they could not detect the seal teams or deter the PNS Mehran assaut. If there is a war, what have we gained, more widows and orphans and a devastated economy, on both sides but worse for Pakistan. Trust me your former East Pakistanis, Bangladeshis would gladly fight you as well. Why?
    There are more muslims in India than in Pakistan before or since the partition. Some have succeed very well and have expanded overseas. Can you name one successful Pakistani businessman who has done his country proud? When the army takes 16% or more of the budget and education gets 1.2%, Allah help you guys. The madrassas are your only hope for your young men (forget the girls- they are only a source of keeping the blood line) who will graduate, armed with a memorized version of koran (without any understanding the peacenik theology) and a rabid interpretation by the mullah and a rifle. Recommend

  • Jun 5, 2011 - 1:03PM

    @Arvind:
    strong text@Aamer:

    If you dont know please do not argue on your ignorance. For your information and guidance you may please go ahead and read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan
    Pakistan has the seventh largest standing armed force and is the only Muslim-majority nation to possess nuclear weapons. It is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States and a strategic ally of China.[13][14] It is a founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference[15] and a member of the United Nations,[16] Commonwealth of Nations,[17] Next Eleven economies and the G20 developing nations.

    http://rupeenews.com/?p=35492
    Pakistan now 5th largest Nuclear power
    ◦Islamabad now has more Nuclear bombs than India and the UK.
    ◦Rawalpindi’s Nuclear bombs are now being miniaturized and have become more lethal.
    ◦Pakistan is using its own indigenous Uranium.
    ◦The Washington Post reported that Pakistan has doubled its nuclear and arms stockpile to 110 warheads.
    ◦Our own sources inform us that Pakistan has between 250-300 Nuclear bombs.

    Regards

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg – South AfricaRecommend

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