Damn you, Siachen

Published: April 13, 2012
The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto 

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto [email protected]

I  just can’t sleep. Not since the landslide/avalanche carrying hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rock and mud and snow 1 km long, 1 km wide, and 80 feet thick, overwhelmed a whole battalion headquarters, burying alive 138 soldiers and civilian workers. I toss and turn, and ask myself how it would feel if the roof of my room fell in on me. I think about those poor young men, brave and selfless young men and I weep.

My mind goes back in time, to when I commanded fine young men just like the ones who lie in the snowy wastes of Siachen. God, how I abhor the name ‘Siachen’, as I think about No. 2436392 Sepoy Azam Ali, formerly of Gurgaon, now of Jaboka, Tehsil and District Okara, my faithful batman who just ten years ago (and 38 and 35 years respectively, after he and I left the Army) put his arm around my little Zainab then six years old as he saw the driver lose control of the car and head straight into a tree, saving Zainab but breaking his own arm in three places.

I think about No. 2436365 Sepoy Mohammad Ashraf, formerly of Hissar, now of Sindh, who cut his own leg to the bone as the result of his bayonet coming loose chasing a wounded rabbit that I had shot for the men, as fresh meat was hard to get across a four hour supply line in the height of summer when as a subaltern I was posted with my platoon in Kheri, Bajwat. As we were bandaging his leg he saw the blood drain from my face and said, despite his own excruciating pain: “Saab aap ja kay lait jao, mein theek hoon.”

I think of all those fine soldiers, and then as I toss and turn again, begging for sleep, I let out a choice curse for those who have put at extreme peril the lives of the thousands of Pakistani and Indian young men by ordering the occupation of the icy wastes of the glacier and the area that surrounds it, India leading, for the original sin in Siachen was committed by India; and Pakistan following close behind. Shame on you, the lot of you.

Anyone been to 16,000 feet even, where it is hard to eat, breathe and sleep, let alone the 22,000 feet where troops are stationed for a large part of the year? A nephew was posted there some years ago and told me of the physical difficulties faced by the troops which are too graphic to write verbatim in this family newspaper. Suffice it to say that having difficulty in breathing is a minor problem, the most basic bodily functions are difficult (in some cases impossible) to perform.

Quite frankly, I don’t care a solitary damn about Trig heights and Lines of Control and Areas of Influence and AGPLs (Actual Ground Position Line) when it comes to the lives, no less, of young Pakistani men. And young Indian men too, who find themselves in like quandary. What I really care about are their families: fathers, mothers, wives, children, sisters, brothers, and their welfare and care which, ultimately, lies in the hands of these young men who are so callously put in harm’s way by their commanders.

We are here talking only of the massive one-off death toll as a result of the landslide/avalanche. How about the many hundreds of Pakistani and Indian soldiers who have died over the 28 or so years that this madness has been going on: from the cold, pulmonary and cerebral edema and a host of other beasties; losing limbs to frostbite; falling down precipices, and so on. We have to note that both sides do not publicise these figures: I guess because it takes away their macho auras. Well, shame on them.

The most criminal part of this whole Siachen thing is the devil-may-care attitudes of our bureaucracies, both civil and military, both Pakistani and Indian. From what I know, the politicians would rather see the end of this most tragic tamasha sooner rather than later. I personally know of one such initiative that almost succeeded: Benazir Bhutto and Rajiv Gandhi came so close to an agreement during his stop-over visit on his way from Moscow to Delhi in 1989 that Ms Bhutto asked Vai Ell (aka Yusuf Lodhi), one of the finest cartoonists ever, to do a cartoon on Siachen that would be presented to Mr Gandhi on his departure the next morning.

I was PIO at the time and it fell to me to present the rolled up and beribboned cartoon along with the album of photographs of his visit that the PIO presents to all visiting dignitaries at the steps of the aircraft.

As I was presenting it to the Indian PM with the words, “Excellency, a special gift to you from our Prime Minister”, Ms Bhutto said, “Let’s see it, Kamran”. I opened the ribbon and showed the cartoon. It depicted high mountains in the background with a bearded mullah and a Hindu priest on either side of them and Benazir and Rajiv in the foreground. They are both saying: “Let’s leave them behind and climb the mountain.” I quote this from memory; Vai Ell is long departed from this world (RIP, my friend) I so wish I had kept a copy. Mrs Sonia Gandhi might still have the cartoon: I respectfully urge her to share it with the world.

In the event, however, one of these young Prime Ministers was kicked out of office and one was blown up by a suicide bomber. I have to say that if the recent tragedy does not work as a catalyst to stop the madness, nothing will. How apt is this description of the conflict over Siachen: “Two poverty-wracked nations engaged in a costly standoff over an uninhabitable patch of mountain and ice.”

Do something, gentlemen on both sides, or is it the case that the trade in military gear and equipment for use at high altitudes is rather lucrative?

Damn you, Siachen.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (127)

  • Mustafa Kamal
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:19AM

    It is an irony that having all the available resources at their disposal, our mighty army is still unable to rescue the lives of 135 soldiers at Siachin.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:25AM

    Leave Mullah Omar and Ball Takhrey on the mountain so they can feel the freez and pain of others and common men of indopak.


  • Tariq
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:27AM

    Damn them all and damn this charade of bravado at the cost of lives of these fine young men! My heart goes out to their families, this tragedy has touched our hearts, and only the heartless can be so unmoved so as not speak out or, if in power, not to do anything to resolve this needless standoff.


  • faraz
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:32AM

    Soldiers belong to lower social class who join the army to earn a living. But grand delusions and bloated egos of golf playing generals, middle class drawing room warriors and elite nationalists lead these young men to their deaths. And after putting them in coffins, the elites feel proud instead of being ashamed. .


  • Cautious
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:40AM

    Nice article. For most of the rest of the World they must look at a map and wonder why Pakistani soldiers are dying so far from home.


  • Kishore
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:45AM

    Time and again Pakistan has transgressed.Since 1989 they have succeeded in sending terrorists to Kashmir and kill 40-80,000 people,engineered several wars with India and Kargil.The latest being Mumbai massacre and yet you blame Siachen.Remove the hateful ideology.That is at the root of this problem.


  • Madhav das
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:55AM

    I believe the hateful ideology that Pakistanis follows is the root cause of this problem.


  • Mirza
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:58AM

    Well they could not even control their own areas the country and military bases including the GHQ HQ and Mehran Base, how can they control those heights?


  • Roflcopter
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:03AM

    @Ali Tanoli, what has Mullah Omar got to with this?


  • Babloo
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:06AM

    The issue has been reduced to a case of national honor by both sides.
    India is 100% sure that facts are with it. The 1971 agreement that defined LoC, clearly says that the line ‘continues’ north. Thats puts Siachen in India. End of any discussion, dispute, ambiguity. Period.
    Pakistan says ‘north ‘ does not eaxctly mean north , but something like north-east.
    Both countries are paying a steep price. The only way this is going to end is if
    1. One of the countries does a cost-benefit-analysys and finds the costs untenable.
    2. Pakistan adheres to the language of the agreement that defined LoC and added that the line continued north from the point it ended.

    Hopefully, we will not have to wait anathor 26 years.


  • indian response.
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Simple. If u r really concerned, accept Indian position on Siachen and u have already saved a thousand future lives. All this poetry will have no meaning otherwise.


  • Apr 13, 2012 - 1:08AM

    kamran: siachen is only a minor manifestation of a deeper malignancy. only strong leadership (on both sides) can achieve a lasting peace. i see neither strong leadership nor will on either side. sadly, fine young men from both countries will continue to be sacrificed.


  • Som Tyagi
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:09AM

    Thank you Mr. Shafi for raising your voice. We need more howling. I hope our leaders ( and our people) come out of their delirium. My heart goes to all those whom these soldiers left behind.


  • gp65
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:12AM

    @Ali Tanoli: “Leave Mullah Omar and Ball Takhrey on the mountain so they can feel the freez and pain of others and common men of indopak”.

    Mullah Omar is an Afghan nd has nothing to do with Kashmir conflict. Did you mean Hafiz Saeed?


  • Secularist
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:25AM

    ” I opened the ribbon and showed the cartoon. It depicted high mountains in the background with a bearded mullah and a Hindu priest on either side of them and Benazir and Rajiv in the foreground. They are both saying: “Let’s leave them behind and climb the mountain.” “

    This is where you’re outdated. India has already left the Hindu priest behind and, barring a few exceptions, religion for its citizens is mostly relegated to a private affair. The current president of India is a Hindu (a woman), the Vice-President is a Muslim, the former President was a Muslim from south India (who happened to be an unmarried vegetarian, as well as the head of the Indian missile program), the Chief Justice is a Zoroastrian, the Prime Minister is a Sikh, and the head of the ruling party is an Italian-born Catholic. They were all able to ascend to these positions because the people of India chose to let them.
    And this is even after many Indians suffered from the Partition (both Manmohan Singh (Gah) and L. K. Advani (Karachi) were from what is now in Pakistan), because they chose to trust the Muslims that remained as Indian citizens.

    In Pakistan even allowing a non-Muslim to hold most of the above positions is constitutionally banned. And the mullahs have a free reign, as known to everyone in the outside world. People can openly be sentenced to death for blasphemy, some Muslims aren’t allowed to call themselves Muslims, politicians openly side with people who call for Jihad on the rest of the world, a large part of the judiciary is sympathetic to and refuses to convict international criminals even after receiving credible evidence, and love marriages are tolerable as long as it involves converting a non-Muslim girl to Islam (or else both the boy and girl normally end up victims of honour killing).
    This is the main reason why Indians and Pakistanis are treated differently when visiting the rest of the world. Unless Pakistan treats all its citizens equally and secularizes itself it will never gain the level of international respect that India does.


  • Uzair
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:28AM

    Kamran Sb, I completely agree with your assessment, share in your pain, and echo your curse on those responsible for putting the men in the damnable situation.


  • Thinktank
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:36AM

    KS, it requires two hands for a handshake. But in this case, each hand is thinking that it will lower its dignity if it extends itself for handshake…though both want a shake hands badly!!
    Somebody has to blink first..else there is no end to siachen or any other damn issue between two neighbors.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:50AM

    excellent, Micey and my thoughts too.


  • yousaf
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:58AM

    @Mustafa Kamal–I am afraid you did not read the article carefully or else you would not have posted such comment.Our army jawans hoping against hope are working round the clock to “rescue” their paiti-brothers since the mishap occurred,under such weather conditions as Mr.Shafi has mentioned.An ordinary avalanche,a couple of feet thick and at 7 or 8 thousand feet up normally takes days for someone buried to be found and taken out alive and this one is over 80 feet thick and some 20 thousand feet high up and our jawans have almost reached the God-forsaken place in I will say no time.Talking of “all the available resources”at that altitude?Pl.for Gods sake.Pray for the trapped ones and their families


  • Babloo
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:02AM

    Is Tribune celebrating its 2nd anniversary by banning comments by Indians ?
    None of my last 5 comments , on various issues, have been posted.


  • fahim
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:11AM

    We must accept the AGPL line agreement and return back. That way we can ask India to follow. India with its huge human and economic resource can manage to keep this going, but we cannot. This adventure is causing huge loss to us, not so much for India, as they have dramatically reduced human loss to weather through rapid innovation.


  • Arindom
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:11AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    While I am against the politics of Bal Thakeray, Pakistani friends, when projecting him as some Pan-India Hindu Extremist Leader must be careful! A few points to keep in mind:
    1) Thakeray is a spent force – he is in retirement and make comments now and then just to survive in the newspapers
    2) Thakeray is influencial ONLY in Mumbai – that too not all Mumbai – pockets of Mumbai only. he has ZERO value in the rest of India. Maybe some influence in some parts of his state of Maharashtra. But is a NOBODY in rest of India – and India is a vast land – Mumbai is just a small piece of land.
    3) Thakeray doesnot have any suicide bombers, bombs, AK-47, etc ; nor any armed militia – hence he should not be compared to terrorist leaders like Omar. At best Thakeray has lathi-armed supporters – maybe some with knives – but thats it.
    4) Thakeray represents the Rightist fringe of Indian Democracy – just like Arundhati Roy represents the Leftist Fringe. They are both unarmed, they both have their own supporters and detractors. But they support and believe and function within the Indian Democratic framework. Hence again, cannot be compared to Omar – who wants to set up a Caliphate

    Again, i am not a supporter of RIGHT nor the LEFT – but the fact that these people only ENRICH Indian democracy as they function WITHIN it , NOT OUTSIDE which is important. this is the key difference to note when these guys are loosely compared to armed, underground, dangerous militants in Pakistan.

    Hope this helps and thows some light.


  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:12AM

    Damn the cost to occupy the mountain is gone up. Can we afford business as usual or its time to climb down?


  • Max
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:18AM

    Someone need to teach this guy professionalism and professional language. Use of colloquial and unprofessional words like ‘damn” and ‘bloody” is all that we see comingRecommend

  • Umer
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:21AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    Leave Mullah Omar and Ball Takhrey on
    the mountain so they can feel the
    freez and pain of others and common
    men of indopak.

    Ball Takhrey is not hiding like Mullah Omar. Ball Takhrey is more comparable to Syed Munawar Hasan.


  • Thoughtful
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:26AM

    Very sad. Should have thought of all this before becoming the pariah of the world. Where were voices like you before 26/11 or may 5. In denial.


  • Pakistani
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:28AM

    This is sheer madness.. We could atleast solve this problem in one lifetime! huh!


  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:33AM

    My sympathies are with the families of the fallen. For the fallen themselves, I hope that they did not suffer – for there is no rule that says that the brave have to suffer.

    The way to prevent such tragedies on both sides is to prevent the obfuscation of reality with propaganda.

    To begin with I would like the author to explain why Pakistan calls for India to honour the UN Security Council Resolution on Kashmir while Pakistan itself is unable to meet the pre-requisites required before a plebiscite can be held.

    If an attempt is made to obfuscate the issue using popular constructs such as “concern for human rights in Kashmir”, etc, many more of what happened will happen.


  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:47AM

    Damn PPP, damn Zardari, the corrupt of all humans alive, damn your PM and his
    son, and damn the corrupt thieves within Pakistan’s government. May Allah Subhana
    protect our soldiers, our army, our institutions, and all innocent lives.


  • smj
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:47AM

    Pakistan should move its Army out from Siachen and just keep focusing on Qaraqoram Highway safety. Mine the area around highway; have the missiles ready and keep heavy presence on highway.. if anyone dares to come down from top he would be hunted. It would safe our jawans. Indian Army would wait, loose more of their men by weather then eventually go away. This is the only solution.


  • KMR Overseas
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:54AM

    @ Kamran Shafi,
    Excellent article. I fully share your views. May their soul rest in peace.
    But all this is the result of Pakistani idiotic misadventures by the mullah based establishment (don’t unnecessarily drag Hindu priest on this matter). Pakistan lost credibility after Siachen & Kargil. Now Pakistan crying foul at India to withdraw is farce. After Mumbai carnage it is more hard for Indian establishment to take decision of withdrawal. Instead of soldiers let decent Pakistanis push DPC leaders to Siachen to guard the border.


  • whoever
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:12AM

    @Mr. Writer

    take a sleep-pill and then u will feel sleepy. pak shouldn’t be shattered by this incident , lots to come ahead to save the land from both sides .


  • funny-indeed
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:18AM

    Now, explain again how your comments relate to Mr.Shafi’s anguished article about the sudden,tragic and needless loss of so many lives.


  • Babloo
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:40AM

    Its preposterous to compare the role of the religious preacher or mullah in Pak politics with the role of the religious teacher Pandit in Indian politics. In indian politics the hindu preacher has no role. Yes India and Pakistan are different. One country amended the constitution to include the word “secular” and the other country amended the constitution to relegate non-Muslims to 2nd class status with constitutional amendment that forbids Hindus from even aspiring to top elected posts in the country.
    India and Pakistan are very different.


  • sinara
    Apr 13, 2012 - 4:59AM

    the indian comments here show clearly where the hate is lurking, Time n again india made conspiracies against Pakistan , west Pakistan, Baluchistan, Nwfp ….and wont accept. and much more, indians always stand against Pakistan where ever it can.. why dont you accept the stand of Pakistan on siachin an move back coz if it happened here it will happen on other side tomorrow and our soldiers are always loved and cherished.


  • realist
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:07AM

    @indian response.:

    Excellent! Could not have said better.


  • ashok
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:12AM

    Kamran Sir,

    I am a fan of yours but you forgot to mention a very simple fact that applies here:

    It takes ONE to UNTANGO.


  • Ashvinn
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:13AM

    What is rant got to do with the article, although the author in many previous articles has repeatedly pointed out Pakistan problems, your preaching the converted.He has point about saichen, problem is we do no trust the Pakistani due to their policy of jihad.
    I feel pained when soliders protecting us have to die in freak accident, epically when i know such accidents WILL happen in saichen, it is no more a accident it is suicidal.Sir let us ratify the AGPL and rid of ourselves of these horror.


  • vasan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:05AM

    Kamran ji, nicely put article. I hope people on Indian and Pakistani side see sense and withdraw from this heights.


  • Realist.
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:56AM

    @Madhav das:
    Yeah right!
    people like YOU are the reason these soldiers are there!


  • Adil
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:30AM

    It hurt to read some of the Indian responses. And fine. Let’s not leave Siachen alone. FYI! Your army suffers much more then ours up there. FYI.


  • MarkH
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:46AM

    Give it eight or nine hours to no longer be a popular article. They’ll probably appear then. That’s how it usually happens for me.


  • Abbas, ZA
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:54AM

    Another siachen …..The root cause is enormous hatred based on religion that Pakistan has cultivated in its society and education system that is time and again biting its economic prospects. take any sphere..cricket or cinema or business…Pakistan has gone down ….Pakistan’s enemy has been its religious priorities. Until then no force can stop Indian rise and power. Pakistan is seen a islamic nation at best…never an equal to even Srilanka. More such siachen will hapen until Pakistan changes its society from isalmic to secular. But how many hindus are left to call Pakistan a secular. Having driven out all minorites, now Pakistan has become a killing field for intra-islamic sects. The natives have been driven in the name of islam now the fight goes on to prove the real muslim…which is imaginary ideal…


  • kris
    Apr 13, 2012 - 8:12AM

    Pakistan, just surrender. Get rid of your army, ISI and nuclear weapons. No one will attack you, you don’t have anything that world wants, just use your common sense. You will be a safer country,. Just focus on economic development.


  • Suresh
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:37AM

    Hindu priests have no roll beyond performing religious rituals. His roll is limited to withing 4 walls of the temple or advising religious obligations of the family which has appointed him. It is a fee based relationship and ends with the advice and performing that particular ritual. He has no say in defining, enforcing Hinduism or nationalism. At the most, he may have some power within Brahminism. A nationalist Indian could be a Brahmin like Nehru, but not a priest. In fact, great Hindu nationalists, revivalists are “anti ritualistic Hinduism” the same as depicted as a priest in the cartoon. It is a complex subject!


  • ashok
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:45AM


    Please don’t kill the messenger. Reflect on his message.

    I could say the same thing for you but it is of no use….


  • let there be peace
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:59AM

    First of all, to be frank, you are followers of desert culture, what purpose does Pakistan have in Himalayas; the abode of lord Shiva, supreme lord of destruction. His tandava is the natures fury.
    Respect nature.
    If it is such a useless wasteland and you don’t like being there, why don’t Pakistani soldiers leave it ? who has stopped you from leaving? is india holding you there with force ? Just go back and let there be peace.
    It is really tragic how soldiers have to face difficulties in Siachen. Indian government must urgently focus on research and developing technology that can make their life comfortable in such extreme conditions.


  • Ghauri Sultan Suri
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:01AM

    Both countries should agree to evacuate the frozen heights and promise not to return….with UN guarantee. Save lives and money for their people.


  • Pakistani citizen
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:14AM

    I wish that India and Pakistan enjoy friendly relations and live peacefully.


  • Harish Puri
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:23AM

    @Ali Tanoli: What has Bal Thakrey have to do with Siachien?


  • Harish Puri
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:25AM

    As a young major posted to J&K in the 80’s, I remember being upbeat about Rajiv and Benazir being the fresh new PM’s of India and Pak, and actually telling my bosses that maybe we wouldn’t have to spend another winter at Siachien.. How naive are the young!

    Maybe it will now be left to Rahul and Bilawal – and meanwhile, lives will continue to be lost in this most ASININE of conflicts..

    Khuda-e-bartar, teri zameen pe zameen ki khaatir yeh jang kyun hai
    Har ek fatho zafar ke damaan pe khoon-e-insaan ka rang kyun hai..


  • sick of this nonsense
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:27AM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir:
    : Benazir Bhutto and Rajiv Gandhi came so close to an agreement during his stop-over visit on his way from Moscow to Delhi in 1989 that Ms Bhutto asked Vai Ell (aka Yusuf Lodhi), one of the finest cartoonists ever, to do a cartoon on Siachen that would be presented to Mr Gandhi on his departure the next morning.

    Read the whole article before damning anyone.


  • Usman Ahmad
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:42AM

    @Kamran Shafi
    Our friends from across the border did not like your article very much. They fuuly know that it was India which transgressed first and captured Siachin. If Pakistan accepts the actual ground position, it will be ceasing this territory and accepting Indian claim. I don’t think either India or Pakistan will leave their cuurent positions. Solution to Siachin problem is NOT in sight unfortunately.


  • Feroz
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Shafi sahab with his writings is provoking readers to use their Brains and think, irrespective of how they are programmed. What he communicates is that Human values must transcend all other differences between people. Life is precious and sacred and only God has the Power to give and take it. This write up and the recent tragedy should jolt the Governments of both India and Pakistan to stop playing with human lives and not to rob human beings of their dignity.
    Congrats Sir, and may your prayer be heeded !


  • Namrata
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:49AM

    This article reminded me of accounts from friends in the army in India about the bizarre effects on the body. The hurt & helplessness concerning Siachen is the concern of any concerned Indian & Pakistani. But will the army & bureaucracy rise from their stupor and realise enough is enough ? If they are willing, why will politicians insist on their soldiers presence high in the mountains ? Its my beleif that human beings should regard the highest of snowy heights as sacred and keep away from stomping & trampling on thin ice, which is becoming thinner with global warming; another man-made malady.


  • Naumaan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:14PM

    @Madhav das: Your own mega city, Mumbai, has different areas for Muslims and Hindus. Your own CM of Gujrat orders for the killing of Muslims, and now is the favourite candidate for PMship, and your own govt changes the name of Muslims cities, like Madras to Chennai then still talking about Pakistan’s hateful ideology !!! …… yes we believe in “Two Nation Theory”.


  • S.Murthy
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:43PM

    When India was a bit slack Kargil happened a few years ago, and you are blaming India for the death of so many Pakistan soldiers. Pakistan proves itself to be an untrustworthy neighbor, but, India is expected to be liberal in its border positions. I don’t understand the argument.


  • johar
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:57PM

    ALAS They were not just 138 brave innocent solders but this tragedy has devastated WHOLE 138 FAMILIES, deprived them of their sole breadwinners leaving them hopeless and dependent. DAMN YOU SIACHIN LITERALLY


  • Raj
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:02PM

    ..I feel really bad and lost some sleep too over this tragedy. I think we need more vocal voices around such political issues, so that our rulers knows what we (common people) want . I strongly believe lets restore peace and sanity where ever we can, and rest of issues will follow equilbrium sooner or later.


  • Apr 13, 2012 - 1:06PM

    Very nice column, Kamran Shafi Sahib.
    I read every thing you say weekly in your columns, Jonaid


  • Jan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:25PM

    @indian response.:
    And why don’t u accept pakistan’s view. India moved to siachen first.


  • Jan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:28PM

    Very well said. They just don’t understand this.


  • Parvez
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:41PM

    One of the best you have written, balanced and sensible.
    Reading comments like the one from @ indian response was simply sad.Recommend

  • Naumaan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:49PM

    @Harish Puri: Well Said ….
    @Abbas, ZA: If its only a matter of secularism then why the most secular nation, India, fought a war with a communist nation, China !!!!! … why not India give the land to China which Chinese claim …. Genghis Khan & Hulagu Khan were not Muslims either. … there is no country on the map which is secure in a true sense. When Indians killed Mahatma Gandhi, their secularism died automatically. So please stop blaming Muslims and Islam.


  • vasan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:54PM

    Naumaan : Indoctrination and distorted study of history has reached its peak. Madras, a muslim city ?? I think either you have gone mad or you have been indoctrinated too much, I live in Madras and I did not know that even Madras has been studied so wrongly in Pakistan.
    Do u know the meaning of Madras or meaning of Chennai. Stop writing nonsense


  • Pradeep
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:01PM

    Who ever told you that the name Madras is an Islamic name? It is not. It was from the portuguese term “madre de deus” It was a name given by the British and that was the reason it was changed to a local Tamil name. How can I say this? I am from that city.

    If you wish to see hate, you will only see hate everywhere. What you have done is first drawn a conclusion that India is anti-Muslim and then you go about searching for evidence that supports that argument. It should be the other way around. The fun part is when you are so sure about such falsities and vehemently argue with such data.


  • Khan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:10PM

    & @MarkH:

    Is Tribune celebrating its 2nd
    anniversary by banning comments by
    Indians ? None of my last 5 comments ,
    on various issues, have been posted.

    Most of the times my comments are not going through either .. has nothing to do with your nationalities ..
    Babloo your this comment makes you look like your cousins from across the border, finding conspiracy in everything. Just two days ago I took time to write a long questionnaire type comment for one of Imran Khan’s article related to what they will do for our actual problems but just to find out it never was printed. I guess it has something to do with ET’s comment system or may be their server.


  • M.Irshad Jan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:25PM

    My parents migrated from Amritsar. My father always maintained that Hindus can never be our friends. I always differed with him that time has changed & it’s a new world now. Alas I was wrong. When people like KISHORE comment as above, my father was 200% correct. Kishore has the gall of blaming Pakistan on Siachen! Pity on him. India/Indians can never change.


  • T
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:49PM

    @ All Indians.
    All the comments I ever see from your side on Express Tribune are full of hatred. Never have I seen a peaceful or even a neutral word from any of the Indian commentators..or even a worthy comment..Now who has a hateful ideology??? As far as Kashmir is concerned…we know how many innocent Muslims the Indian army is killing daily. So stop acting as saints.


  • yousaf
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:57PM

    @MAX:–(someone teach this GUY the professionalism,so that he does not use words like “damn”,”bloody”etc.).Dear max I suggest that you go and spend a couple of months at that place(Gyari,Siachin) and when you will come back “alive” I will like to listen to how you SPEAK professionally?.btw.calling a senior person like Shafi sahib GUY by you is quite OK???


  • haha
    Apr 13, 2012 - 4:08PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    typical pakistani thinking.mistakes are of indians and this time of afghani too.


  • Mohammad Asif
    Apr 13, 2012 - 4:22PM

    Absolutely sick of Indians polluting this space – this is forum where we should be discussing issues among ourselves without being distract and annoyed by these shameless interlopers. Hey Indians, we believe in two-nation theory. we have moved on. kashmir is source of conflict between us. let us solve it and we are done with each other. you can croak about your shinning india to whomever you want as much you want – that is if someone is willing to listen. your snide remarks only reinforces the already low opinion we have about you folks.


  • Deb
    Apr 13, 2012 - 4:27PM

    @Arijit Sharma

    Your debunking the myth of Bal Thakerey is quite apt and was necessary, considering the highly inflated reputation (sic) he enjoys among the Pakistani readers.


  • Riaz Khan
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:10PM

    Time to end hostilities between India & Pakistan! Damn Siachen, Kashmir & Kargil & talk Peace for future generations of both countries.


  • Raza
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:18PM

    If pakistan stops having a hostile attitude towards india, and does not engage in any military solution(overt and covert) to difference between the two countries, all issues can be resolved in a year!

    Kargil wasn’t started by India, hence the presence of troops at Siachin. Sanity needs to prevail at Pak Army and ISI HQ…then everything will fall in place!


  • Pankaj
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:24PM

    Suppose 130 Indian Soldiers would have died
    Would Pakistani media then be STILL DEMANDING that
    Pakistan and India should with draw
    from Siachen


  • Akash
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:27PM

    @Muhammad Asif
    Absolutely sick of Indians polluting this space – this is forum where we should be discussing issues among ourselves without being distract and annoyed by these shameless interlopers. Hey Indians, we believe in two-nation theory. we have moved on.

    The article by author is about Siachen which concerns India and therefore you see a big Indian response. You clearly did not like the response but that’s a different matter. For you it is shameless, for us it is good discussion. Although i agree some response are harsh but some are also factual and encourage good talk. We are thankful that moderators publish it.

    I am not going to talk about 2 nation theory or Kashmir as that will be flogging a dead horse.

    P.S: We do want Pakistan to shine as well but I am not sure how you will do that if you deny your issues.


  • Apr 13, 2012 - 6:53PM

    How much more blood do we need to consume before we begin to see sense? Apparently the official figures of 3000 Pakistanis and 5000 Indians isn’t enough for the blood-thirsty amongst us, and we’d still rather vent our anger and hatred at each other, even in the face of such a tremendous tragedy as the recent avalanche. Such incidents, far from being used to propagate name-calling and blame-games, should be used for the advancement of peace and reason. Both Pakistan AND India need to mend their ways and dump their militaristic ideologies, in favour of humanity and economic progress. It’s costing India and Pakistan roughly $300 and $200 million a year, respectively. Money that could probably go a long way to help the downtrodden in both countries – 25% Indians and 24% Pakistanis are below the poverty line. And those are just the official figures. Stop passing the buck please – India back off, Pakistan back off – You BOTH need to back off. Only then would the sacrifice of the 8000 soldiers, on both sides of the divide, not have been in vain!


  • Basit
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:56PM

    It is incredibly hilarious to note Indians blaming Pakistan for Siachen when they are the ones who made the first military incursion into Siachen where there was NONE before. You just need to look at the map to know that India defines north as North West as the line of control.

    India’s history of treachery and invading Pakistani territory is well documented.


  • s shah
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @Mohammd Asif: How are you entitled to speak for all Pakistanis? I am a Pakistani and dont agree with you. It is interesting to have Indians on this forum and hear their views. Why not? We might learn something from them. It is attitudes like yours that have led us into 3 fruitless wars.


  • Nabeel
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:29PM

    @Babloo: This is an indian documentry on siachin. Though they are putting the blame on Pakistan but if u concentarte on the map used in the video then it is pretty clear that even if LOC proceeds towards north , entire siachin falls in Pakistan.


    Dont misguide public. India infact moved towards west to occupy siachin..


  • Give me a break
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:31PM


    I am sure Thakeray doesn’t have boms, AK-47s.. but he sure had knives, speers, shovels and showed a great skill in using them against Muslims in so called secular India.. My grandparents were murdered in 1947, I guess I should expect some justice from the great Indian democracy? 2000 Muslims were killed in Gujrat, how many criminals have been convicted? 23? Do you think just a bunch of 23 killed 2000 people? Talk about democracy… Pakistan is not a great democratically governed land but please don’t give me such a great picture of your so called democracy.. If there were any greatness in Indian democracy, you would have sentenced your military killing Kashmiris, yes the same Kashmiris whom you claim to be your citizens… huh, talk about India and its democracy!


  • punekar
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:38PM

    The history of the conflict is no longer relevant, so this whole “who started” is moot.


    Pakistan has LOST the glacier and is not in possession of it.
    India is in possession of the glacier. Pakistanis forces are 20 miles west of the glacier, not on the glacier.

    And remember, what you could not win in war, you will not get from India in peacetime. You do not have the strength to change this reality.

    The best course of action for Pakistan is to walk away. Accept the AGPL and walk.


  • Babloo
    Apr 13, 2012 - 7:46PM

    @Give me a break,
    Dont compare India and Pakistan. Pakistan expelled/killed 85% of Hindu/Muslims in 1947 as compared to only 15% of Muslims from India. India looks a saint in comparison. And in Gujrat, the 23 convicted are just from one incident in the Gujrat riots. There are many more cases proceeding and both Muslims and Hindus have been convicted by courts in the Gujrat riots.


  • Babloo
    Apr 13, 2012 - 8:01PM

    The entire Siachen glacier is not occupied by India. India has occupied the heights , going north from the point upto which LoC was demarcated, as per the agreement in 1971.

    You can look at this map.
    Bulk of the glacier is east of the line drawn north from the point at which LoC ends. Thats the portion that belongs to India and will stay there.


  • Ali S
    Apr 13, 2012 - 8:03PM

    What a shame that the top 5 or so comments are about reaffirming India’s “secularism” (and, unsurprisingly, made by Indians) rather than focusing on the tragic issue at hand – the lives of 138 people with families and loved ones needlessly in danger. About time both sides withdraw troops from Siachen and end this mindless display of machoism. May Allah have mercy on all those souls.


  • Zahir
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:18PM

    @Ali Tanoli: “Leave Mullah Omar and Ball Takhrey on the mountain so they can feel the freez and pain of others and common men of indopak”. —
    Mullah Omar is an Afghan nd has nothing to do with Kashmir conflict. Did you mean Hafiz Saeed? —
    Mullah Umar & Hafiz Saeed and the likes have no nationalities. They are products of the same mindset and deliver the same set of miseries within and beyond their boundaries. They are designed to generate hatred and cause bloodshed to keep those who create them in business in various ways. I include Bal Thaskeray and all others who put one man against another in the same category.


  • K B Kale
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:04PM

    Excellent articles as always. We all can feel the pain Shafisahab is feeling.
    But what is the solution?
    If I say unless Pakistan accepts the unification of Kashmir with India, accepts the LOC as an International border & stops creating problems in J&K (as promised orally by ZAB during Simla Agreement talks, but he never kept that promise!), bleeding on both the sides will not stop, there will be loud protests. But it is the only solution!
    It’s time the old hatchet is buried by both. We both must step on to the road to mutual prosperity.


  • Concerned
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:42PM

    The bottom line is that both countries should vacate Siachen with an agreement under United Nations jurisdiction.


  • Tahir
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:57PM

    Pakistan just followed suit! Pakistan has tried to resolve the issue on a number of occasions in the past. It would have been a great service on part of the writer if he had elaborated upon Indian intransigence in this regard and not just lambasted Indian and Pakistani positions on the issue in the same beat! Recommend

  • Bombay Dude
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:07PM

    @Jan: “And why don’t u accept pakistan’s view. India moved to siachen first. “……I would not repeat so I will just point you to comments by Secularist and Arindom above to find your answers. If you still do not understand than you are just another Pakistani who wantw to push all blame on India.


  • munchkin bob
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:33PM

    first para of your article reminds me of “holding out for a hero” by ella mae bowen


  • Naumaan
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:33AM

    All those who blame Pakistan and its Army must read Indian Army Journal’s Jan 1990 edition in which Lt. Gen. M.L. Chibber mentioned how India captured Siachin after came to know that this part is shown in Pakistan in the international maps.
    American and British maps and atlases including the Britannica Atlas, the National Geographic Society’s Atlas of the World, The Times Atlas of the World, and the University of Chicago’s Historical Atlas of South Asia” – show the Ceasefire Line/Line of Control running from NJ 9842 in a straight path northeastward to the Karakoram Pass on the Chinese border, with Siachen Glacier clearly inside Pakistan”.
    Sir Own Dixon, first UN Representative to India and Pakistan, indicated in his comprehensive report on Kashmir to the Security Council in 1950 that Siachen Glacier fell within the northern Areas of Pakistan. The highly regarded account was including in a book published in 1958 under the title “Essential Documents and Notes in the Kashmir Dispute”, by the Indian writer P.L. Lakhanpal, who supported Dixon’s findings. More evidence to back Pakistani claims comes from prominent Indian defence analyst Ravi Rikhye, who in his 1982 book “The Fourth Round: Indo-Pak War 1984”, includes a map showing the Ceasefire Line runnig northeastward to the Karakoram Pass on the Chinese border, again putting Siachen Glacier clearly inside Pakistani territory. Another important book “The Western Front: Indo-Pakistan War 1971”, published in India in 1984 by retired LtGen K.P. Candeth (a former commander of India’s Western Command), includes several maps supporting Pakistani claims.


  • Aleena
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:33AM

    I wonder why Express Tribune sounds so apologetic and disgusting when talking about our Shuhdaa. Go tell your counterpart to do something about real peace other than facade of ‘Aman ki Asha’. Ironically when the entire Pakistani liberal fascists ramble about withdrawing forces from Siachen, the Indian think tanks plan to advance their forces on the glacier. How sad!


  • Apr 14, 2012 - 2:37AM

    I like the comments of ‘Secularist’ posted on 13 April. However he/she has turned the tragic incident of Pakistani soldiers burried under the avalanch into a social, religious, political and defense parameters. Of course these considerations do apply as back ground reasons why at all there are Pakistani or Indian soldiers in Sianchene.

    From defense point of view it is perhaps of some importance but not more than Kargil. In my humble opinion it is only a matter of pride for both sides. They are sacrificing their poor soldiers for letting the world know that they are controlling these heights. They are using their soldiers as “war fodder” as Napolean used to say for his armies.

    Socially and religiously the differences between Pakistan and India cannot be eliminated as long as Mullahs in Pakistan and Pandits in India are not eliminated, ” and I strongly maintain “eliminated.” It will only come with wide spread of education and secularism, not by force.

    Well it has been proved over 65 years that it is the domain of most corrupts, cheats, plotters, murderers, looter, liers, goons and the scum of society. . . and in both countries, more so in Pakistan than in India.

    Leave Siachen alone to those who are busy in resue operations. Both Mullahs in Pakistan and Pundits in India pray to their respective Gods (although I believe their Gods are the chips of the same block and also one and the same eventually in providing disaster like Siachen or earthquakes in Kashmir and floods in Pakistan with no rescue and solutions) but still repeating certain prayers in Arabic and in Sanskrit does not cost a penny a minute.) Prayers are the cheapest.


    Please try to create a ‘humane’ spirit among the humanity. We may have different faiths but we still are human beings. In times of disaster and disease we need the same same help. In times of happiness and festivities we ALL behave the same way, with very small differences.

    You can write to me if you want me to elaborate on some points at
    [email protected]
    With all the Regards


  • Babloo
    Apr 14, 2012 - 3:10AM

    The entire LoC in kashmir is defined by the detailed LoC accord after 1971 war. India and Pakistan armies spent a year demarcating it and then signed the accord. This accord supercedes everything. Absoluetely everything. As per this accord the LoC runs ‘North” from the point just short of the glacier, upto which the LoC was demarcated.
    Everything else on this issue is irrelevant. Period. And cartographically , north means only one thing and that is North.


  • Tariq
    Apr 14, 2012 - 5:46AM

    It’s a battle field, it happened every where, Shahadat is a rutba, we believe the time of the death is fixed. So take it easy.

    I personally solute our army and agencies who are there for keeping eyes on covert enemies, who always project what that is not actually.

    It’s not the matter of Bal Thakrey, or any Mullah, it’s the matter of Jihad (actually fighting with Shataan)


  • naeem khan
    Apr 14, 2012 - 6:15AM

    @ Kishore

    Please lay off this blame game, Why is it so that your own PM Nehru promised at the UN to have a free plebiscite and let the Kashmiris decide whether they want to be integral part of India.What is it you are afraid of, can Pakistanis trust the Indians when their own government promised and then renege on their promises.It is the Kashmiris who are fighting the occupation, By the way Gujarat massacre was not engineered by Pakistanis but your own people,more than 2000 innocent people were killed and Mr.Modi is Scott free, this hateful ideology is on both sides,India never accepted the existence of Pakistan and always dream of Akund Hindustan ( united India), well it is just too bad because it will be a pipe dream of Indians.Pakistan has extended hand of friendship not with weakness but to bring some sanity to this perpetual animosity.Yes, Kargil was a mistake and Mumbai killings were done by some fanatics and not all Pakistanis rejoiced in the killing of innocent people there, those responsible should be brought to justice in India as well in Pakistan.What Mr.Shafi is suggesting is to stop this madness at 22,000 feet and come to some agreement and give peace a chance.Your country is well off economically than Pakistan but India still has millions and millions of people who are under this grinding poverty. Peace could benefit both countries, you will agree.


  • naeem khan
    Apr 14, 2012 - 6:29AM

    at Arindom
    I agree with you, you have presented an eloquent explanation. I don’t know why Mullha Omar was brought in this discussion any way.


  • LPJ
    Apr 14, 2012 - 9:07AM

    Let’s admit that the “hateful ideology” you speak of exists on both sides of the border. Don’t live in patriotic fool’s paradise. In this game, no one is innocent. Recommend

  • bilal
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:22PM

    @Mustafa Kamal:
    “Not since the landslide/avalanche carrying hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rock and mud and snow 1 km long, 1 km wide, and 80 feet thick”

    And the enigmatic weather is in the way of jawans to dig their brothers. Inshallah Allah will protect all of them.


  • ali
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:41PM

    Pak Army should realize that what goes around comes around!


  • usman786
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:10PM

    Withdrawal from Siachien should be done in a package deal with India only bcz they suffer 3 times more loss/expenditure. They have more comfotable bunkers and infra-structure. In return we should get full rights for water on Jhelum, Indus and Chenab. No to forget Kashmir issue.

    Is there a Indian newspaper site where I can write comments too.


  • Waseem Ahamd
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:49PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    Very nice proposal. But I believe that the entire team of Difa-e-Pakistan Council including Hafiz saeed, Imran Khan, Munawar Hassan, Maulana Samiul Haq and others should also be left there. Another suggestion the next rally of this council should be held there so that they should know what they are talking about.


  • K B Kale
    Apr 14, 2012 - 3:59PM

    @Waseem Ahamd:
    In my earlier comments, I had said that Mr Kamran Shafi is one of the few sensible voices in Pakistan. Now I wish to add Mr Waseem Ahmad’s name to that list for correctly putting Hafiz Saeed & Imran Khan on the same page! Imran is enjoying his tsunamis and jalsas but, God forbid, if Pakistanis elect him in a fit of emotional outburst, what remains of Pakistan will be destroyed and Pakistan will become another pariah State like Afghanistan. God save Pakistan from their own leaders and pseudo-leaders!


  • K B Kale
    Apr 14, 2012 - 4:04PM

    @naeem khan:
    Please read the UN Resolution of 1948 (as I have doen). In there the precondition No 1 is Pakistan vacating the erstwhile Kashmir State as ruled by King Hari Singh. Precondition No 2 is for India to vacate the area. Only then plebiscite was to be held.
    Pakistan never fulfilled precondition No 1 but keeps talking about plebiscite.
    Pakistani media misleads Pakistani people by projecting selective part of that UN Resolution!


  • K B Kale
    Apr 14, 2012 - 4:06PM

    Congratulations, Shafisahab, for a century of Readers’ comments. Your really good article deserved it.


  • A. Khan
    Apr 14, 2012 - 4:48PM

    The problem is that both India and Pakistan have so demonized each other since independence that to step back from this, would entail “loss of face”. So who would be willing to take the first step and say, you know, this is crazy, we dont want this anymore.

    Given the politicians and jingoistic propaganda machines working in overdrive on both sides, it is difficult to see this happening.And that is the official government machinery, not taking into account the mullahs and Hindu nationalists who further raise the temperature on both sides.

    Mind you whenever I meet Indians overseas, we are all civil and friendly with each other, discussing similarities between us and of course, cricket.

    Both the countries have greater challenges to face. So, enough of war, lets work towards resolving poverty and illiteracy.


  • Neotheone
    Apr 14, 2012 - 8:17PM

    On one hand the author talks of reconciliation

    On the other hand he writes lines such as “for the original sin in Siachen was committed by India”

    This itself reflects the double standards and the adamant attitude


  • Truth Seeker
    Apr 14, 2012 - 8:36PM


    “India leading, for the original sin in Siachen was committed by India; and Pakistan following close behind. Shame on you, the lot of you.”

    I have read some of your previous articles in ET and all the subsequent comments posted by the readers. I was surprised how all the Indian commentators were praising your wisdom, insight, and straight-forwardness – though not really surprised because your point of view suited them then. Could you please check to see if any such comment is made by a single Indian commentator in this particular article. I’m sure, had you not included the above quoted two sentences, or just blamed the Pakistan for the situation, you must have got the same applause from across the border. Does it not tell how brain washed, close minded, and hate filled these people are themselves, but still blaming us for the same sins even in this article.


  • Truth Seeker
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:50AM
  • Truth Seeker
    Apr 15, 2012 - 1:13AM


    “Pakistan, just surrender. Get rid of your army, ISI and nuclear weapons. No one will attack you, you don’t have anything that world wants, just use your common sense. You will be a safer country,. Just focus on economic development.”

    You do the same and we guarantee your safety.


  • jan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:15AM

    and so should the indian army as well….


  • jan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:18AM

    and what is the double standard here… Can a person not blame the other party for the mistake that they made and then talk about reconciliation.


  • A. Khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:34AM

    Why is ET censoring these posts ? Apart from personal abuse, there is no reason for this paper to do so as it people’s personal opinion. By undertaking selective censorship, ET is leaving its objectivity behind and taking sides in discussions.


  • Farhan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:01AM

    Actually there is a missing piece. A dotted line was drawn on map showing what was meant by north and this dotted line placed siachin in Pakistan and joined NJ9842 just before Karakoram pass. Pakistan insists on dotted line and India insists on true north. Best solution is to delcare siachin a no man’s land sort of stuff approachable from both countries for expeditions but no go for militaries. That would be better


  • Rizwan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:04AM

    You Indians should surrender!!!


  • Udaya Bose
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:02AM

    And for that matter what has Bal Thakeray?
    How many terrorists has he sent to Pakistan and how many Pakistanis have been killed by the Shiv Sena?
    I don’t support or agree with the Shiv Sena in its politics but I find this Pakistani equation of the murderous LeT , JeM, HuJI etc. with a blustering politician quite ridiculous and self-serving justification for sending blood-thirsty murderers across the border to kill Indians.


  • Anjum Hameed
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Reading many of the utterly ridiculous replies, and some of the very apt ones, I wonder at the state of the human mind..one thing I need to say..it seems to me that religion plays a huge part in fomenting, aggravating and perpetuating hatred between peoples..


  • Yar Gum
    Apr 15, 2012 - 1:28PM

    Karakoram Highway is within striking distance of Siachen.


  • baloo
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:10PM

    India will not give up even an inch of Siachin under its control .

    Simple solution to Kamran Shafi if he is “really” concerned – Ratify AGPL and reap the peace dividend.
    Only after AGPL has been ratified will Indian troops pull back.


  • Babloo
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:44PM

    @Farhan, no there is no dotted line signed by India. If so , Pakistan would have produced that document. A dotted line , drawn at GHQ , has no meaning , that’s why you see such infantile statements like ‘we always thought that the line proceeded NorthEast to Karakoram pass”.


  • Jayakumar
    Apr 16, 2012 - 4:17AM

    I am an Indian and I loved this article. My hats off to this general who really and truly loved his men. It is very true that two nations are fighting over a piece of land where not a blade of grass will grow let alone humans survive. But what is not being said is that following that peace accord over Siachen and a promise of no attack by the Pakistani side, both sides (at least the indians did) withdrew from Siachen LOC at least during the winter months to their lower camp bases. But then Pakistani troops and militants occupied vast areas of the indian side of the LOC including Kargil in 1999 (Pervez musharraff was the PM). This resulted in a lot of wasted lives on both sides and the Pakistanis got nothing out of it except a lot of international condemnation and loss of valuable lives. Till the Pakistani side can rein in their terrorists and militants whom they have no control over, this kind of incidences will keep happening and our men and women, whether Pakistani or Indian will keep getting lost on piece of land that is not worth the ice that covers it. I hope both Pakistanis and Indians can be best friends. We would be so powerful then.


  • Jayakumar
    Apr 16, 2012 - 4:22AM

    you have not lived in India at all, I can see. maybe there are muslim areas in Mumbai, but hindus and muslims live together in the remaining 99.9% of India. I am a hindu and I live with m christian , muslim neighbours in india easily. There is no descrimination against muslims in particular in India. One of presidents was a muslim so are several chief ministers of various hindu majority states in India. Many of our top scientists and professors and artists and actors, actresses are all muslims. We are also taught the values from all religions including Islam in our schools. Can you say the same about pakistan?


  • Lala Gee
    Apr 16, 2012 - 9:21AM


    “There is no descrimination against muslims in particular in India”

    You better check the links posted by @Truth Seeker and then say this again.


  • Mr. Sindhi
    Apr 16, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Am I only dumb to connect Siachen-issue with Karakoram Highway, only ground trade line for both India and Pakistan ?


  • Taimoor
    Apr 17, 2012 - 12:46AM

    Before you guys start blaming us for kargill please keep in mind that it was your army that started it all way back in 1948 when u made a deal with the Mahraja. you had no right to occupy Kashmir in the first place. This is what started all of it. Now coming to the Siachen issue, you guys know fully well that our army won’t be leaving that place and neither will yours so what’s the point in arguing about Pakistan leaving Siachen for good? Will u leave if we ask you to? I don’t think so.


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