The fight for Siachen

Published: April 22, 2012
SHARES
Email
The writer is a retired brigadier and served in the Special Services Group

The writer is a retired brigadier and served in the Special Services Group

On April 13, 1984 a small force of the Indian Army occupied the Bilafond La pass. Four days later, another small force occupied the Sia La pass. Both passes, the former at over 18,000 ft and the latter at over 20,000 ft are located in the Saltoro Range and serve as the gateway to the Siachen Glacier. The Indians had moved fast after receiving intelligence that the Pakistan Army was planning to occupy them. The first Pakistani reaction to the occupation of the passes came on April 24/25, 1984 when a small force attempted to get to the Bilafond La in an uphill assault but was thwarted by the difficult glaciated terrain and adverse weather conditions.

In the days that followed, the Indian Army built up a large force to defend the 80 kilometre-long Saltoro Range ridgeline. Since then, the Saltoro Range has been the focal point of operations — the Pakistanis seeking to gain a foothold on the ridge line, the Indians denying it.

In early April 1987, another attempt was made by the Pakistan Army to gain a foothold on the Saltoro ridgeline. A small force consisting of about a dozen SSG commandos, using ropes and ladders, went up a vertical cliff and occupied a position at over 21,000 ft that dominated the Indian positions at Bilafond La. They named it Quaid post. The Indian Army made several attempts to evict the commandos but each time they were repulsed with heavy casualties. On June 25, 1987, they succeeded in taking the post as the commandos had run out of ammunition and could not be resupplied as the base supporting them came under fire. With the only foothold on the ridgeline lost, the Pakistan Army launched a major attack in September 1987 to get to Bilafond La. The attack was repulsed. In March 1989, another attempt was made, this time in the Chumik glacier, three kilometres east of Giari (recently hit by an avalanche). At over 19,000 ft, the place chosen is the most difficult to scale in the Saltoro Range for either side. In a daring operation the peak was occupied by two men, an officer and a non-commissioned officer, slung from a helicopter on a rope, turn by turn. The two thwarted all Indian efforts to get to the top for 36 hours after which they were reinforced by a handful of soldiers dropped in similar fashion. But in May 1989 when the Indians succeeded in neutralising the supply base supporting the soldiers on the peak, the post was vacated.

In November 1992, yet another attempt was made to get to the ridgeline by means of a major attack. Launched in haste, the attack ended in failure. As a consequence, the general officer commanding was sacked. Most of the casualties suffered by Pakistani troops in combat were in the two major attacks (September 1987, November 1992).

The Indians have rarely embarked on a major offensive venture. They have left this to the Pakistanis who have obliged them at least twice . The loss of Quaid post and withdrawal from the Chumik glacier post due to lack of logistic support to a handful of men, are cases in point. Despite twelve rounds of negotiations, the two have not been able to reach an amicable settlement because of domestic political compulsions and mutual mistrust (exacerbated by the Kargil conflict). The dispute revolves round the extension of the Line of Control (LOC) beyond a point on the Saltoro Range known by its map reference as NJ 9820420. The demarcated LOC ends at this point —“thence north to the glaciers” is what the Karachi agreement of 1949 states about the extension. According to the Indians, this meant that the LoC should extend northwards along the Saltoro Range up to Sia Kangri.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s stand is that beyond NJ 9820420, the LOC should extend eastward up to the Karakoram pass. Extending the LOC northwards would give the entire Siachen Glacier-Saltoro area to India, while extending it eastward would give it to Pakistan.

The only way out of this morass is to demilitarise the zone with the UN acting as the guarantor. Can the leadership of the two countries show for once statesmanship to resolve not only the Siachen dispute but all other outstanding disputes and can the two armies assist them in doing so?

Until then, for the soldiers on the Saltoro Range ‘theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die’.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (71)

  • antony
    Apr 22, 2012 - 9:56PM

    again and again why is north in pakistani dictionary ,east ! .

    Recommend

  • cosmo
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:01PM

    “On the other hand, Pakistan’s stand is that beyond NJ 9820420, the LOC should extend eastward up to the Karakoram pass. Extending the LOC northwards would give the entire Siachen Glacier-Saltoro area to India, while extending it eastward would give it to Pakistan.”

    This explains that pakistani think tank are made up of bunch of morons. What else would pakistanis need to differentiate between “East” & “North”. Please go ahead and explain that to UN and lets see how do they react. You would be AGAIN be the laughing stock of the world.

    And am sure many pakistani trolls would start explaining how in islam East=North. Please go ahead and do it.

    Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:10PM

    If anyone needs a way out, it is Pakistan. With 7%+ economic growth, India can afford $1million/day for Siachin, Pakistan can’t.

    When Indians are sitting comfortably on Saltoro range, why do you think they would agree to a UN backed withdrawal, with LOC eastwards?

    Pak need to figure out what they can offer to India AND have a face saving formula for public consumption.

    Recommend

  • Xcaret
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:19PM

    This won’t happen until somebody time travels in past and changes wording of accord to accommodate Pakistan’s understanding of ‘HENCE NORTH’ to “HENCE NORTH EAST’ as per whatever dictionary is used in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Truthteller
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:38PM

    First true account of the conflict by any author here… KUDOS sir

    Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:41PM

    The Brigadier Sb. has laid out basically what India has been saying all along. One can only expect a soldier to do such a thing – even at the expense of making his “side” look lacking in various aspects of military planning and execution. A salute to you, Sir.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:45PM

    Very good and detailed opinion. Thanks for providing it. After all the information, how did you reach the wrong conclusion that north for Pakistan actually means East ?
    The indian army has paid great price in implementing the LoC accord, signed by Pakistan, that states ” The demarcated LOC ends at this point —“thence north to the glaciers” is what the Karachi agreement of 1949 states about the extension. According to the Indians, this meant that the LoC should extend northwards along the Saltoro Range up to Sia Kangri.”
    Many peaks in Siachen and Kargil, after Pakistan violated the LoC and ocupied them, were re-occupied by Indian army, climbing uphill, in adverse conditions.

    Recommend

  • Hari Sud
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:57PM

    Is it possible that Pakistani leave the glacier completely and then ask Indians to follow the suit as goodwill gesture. Indians may take a long time to vacate as their vacating Kargil peaks invited Pakistani quitely. Hence Pakistanis are gone, Indian may downgrade occupying snow peaks to once in a while. The problem is solved.

    It has one issue – can you ever trust Generals like Musharraf who wish to earn praise at home, stage another Kargil on Siachen peaks.

    UN cannot gurantee anything. It is a spent force, mostly moral. It can pass any number of resolutions. If Pakistanis do not wish to obey them, nothing can be done.

    Follow my advice – ask Pakistan to completely vacate Siachen. By being their they have not achieved anything except death (137 dead lately but many thousand in previous 25 years)and wish Indians see death and destruction on their side also, scale back operation.

    India cannot afford to vacate Siachen completely. They can scale back.

    Net result both sides reduce casualty count by 95%.

    Recommend

  • ashok
    Apr 22, 2012 - 11:00PM

    The basic cause of deaths of brave army soldiers from both sides is the irrational behavior based unsubstantiated interpretation of Pakistan commanders who still think that

    North means EAST

    Glacier mean PASS (KARAKORAM)

    I appreciate what Javed Hussain has written. However, any reasonable person who understand English, would interpret that Siachen Glacier, according to the language of the agreement was always on the Indian side of the LOC.

    Not signing the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) is an invitation to more battles especially after Kargil infiltration where LOC was pretty much marked and defined.

    Recommend

  • ashok
    Apr 22, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @Xcaret:

    You forgot to add…..and replace the word “GLACIERS” with “KARAKORAM PASS” :)

    Recommend

  • BlackJack
    Apr 22, 2012 - 11:30PM

    Seems much ado about nothing – North is North and East is East, to paraphrase Kipling. Once you agree to abide by the terms of the Karachi agreement, you won’t need the UN.

    Recommend

  • Khurram
    Apr 22, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Our Quaid Post has now been renamed by the Indians as Banna Post to honor the brave Subedar Banna Singh PVC who captured it on the night of June 25th 1987.

    Recommend

  • Cynical
    Apr 22, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Of all the accounts so far published in print media this one is surely the most fact worthy of them all.
    An UN post replacing Indian and Pakistani posts may be a solution.

    Recommend

  • G. Din
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:07AM

    “The only way out of this morass is to demilitarise the zone with the UN acting as the guarantor.”
    Isn’t that exactly what India has been saying? “Sign off on the AGPL and demilitarization can proceed.” UN acting as the guarantor of the AGPL would be an icing on the cake! Anything short of that is a non-starter as far as India is concerned. The problem with Pakistan is that it wants others to get its marshmallows out of the fire which it could not do itself in spite of repeated attempts.

    Recommend

  • sandip
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Mr. Ejaz Haider, please note what has been mentioned by the brigadier. Again and again it has become clear that going by the Simla agreement, would mean the glacier belongs to India. Isn’t it amply clear that it is Pakistan that is the agressor and also the one that started the conflict in the first place? It appears that Pakistan army is never willing to abide by any agreement. The trust that was broken in 1947 with the aggression in Kashmir has continued ever since. And all of the Pakistan Army’s appointed scholars in the media continue to churn out rubbish to distort the truth. However the games are now over, having extracted an immense cost on Pakistan itself.

    Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:25AM

    So kargil operation was not a pakistan fault jaye pervez mushraf sahab.

    Recommend

  • a_writer
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:48AM

    I guess another possible concern for India would be a scenario in which Pakistan invites their Chinese ‘friends’ to come and occupy the region once both sides decide to withdraw. After all, Pakistan did do just that with portions of the disputed Kashmir region.
    Even with all the recent economic and military advancements, Indian military strength is still no match to China’s capabilities. The Chinese probably will be more than happy to oblige and occupy these strategic locations.

    Recommend

  • Nik
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:49AM

    Despite several failed military attempts to capture Siachen, Pakistan now wants the same by sitting across the table or via track-2 dialog. It is a rich attempt to make a virtue out of necessity. Sadly, some peaceniks in India, without much knowledge of the history of conflict in this region, are falling for it.

    Sure, the troops on both sides should withdraw. It is a noble objective. But, that can be done only after the boundaries on the maps are made dejure and sufficient trust is built.

    Which country can trust Pakistan which is capable of defying common sense, when it suits her, by interpreting north as east? Or worse, violating international borders when she pleases.

    Recommend

  • Chotta Panda
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:22AM

    I am at a loss of words and don’t know what to say. Pakistan is technically incorrect –> North versus North East; financially Pakistan cannot sustain stationing army personnel in Siachen; Pakistan cannot strategically or tactically offer anything to India for vacating Siachen. Pakistan cannot say that we will stop terrorism emanating from Pakistan because by their own account it is these non-state actors like LeT, JeM etc. that are doing it and hence the establishment has no control over them. Given all this, I am not sure why should India vacate Siachen and what can Pakistan offer to India to vacate Siachen. Conversely, what is Pakistan trying to prove by being stationed in Siachen – that their Generals are completely clueless and they don’t know what they are doing?

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:24AM

    Pakistan does not need anything to save face. It can just quote the agreement with India that defines the LoC and commit to respect that and demarcate the un demarcated areas accordingly. However , if Pakistan refuses to ratify it, India has the option to move westward from the glacier in any future conflict.

    Recommend

  • G.A.
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:57AM

    The only solution to the Siachin problem is to make it a neutral area…In this regard Pakistan has already made a step forward and has shown enough flexibility, this time its only India who is looking to be having some hegemonic designs by not responding to this offer seriously. After this whatever will happen may not result in good way…..

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:19AM

    You have documented all the facts. I am unable to reach the same conclusion as you when I review the same facts as you do.
    irst reviewing tthe facts you presented – which I agree with
    1) You do mentions what the 1949 document said – and thence no=rth. In light of that, you agree taht if you extend the line notrth, the entire Siachen glacier would belong to India
    20 You state that India got intelligence that Pakistan was about to occupy it ad hence they pre-empted that. Thus India was not the aggressor, they simply pre-empted Pakistan occupying their land
    3) India has never attacked, all attacks have been by Pakistan.
    4) Pakistan has tried repeatedly to grab Siachen and never succeeded including Kargill.

    Given India is the status quo power and Pakistan the revisionist power who has now reached conclusion that they are unable to achieve what they militarily, should accept the status quo by authenticating the status quo. Why would India who prefers status quo and has the ability to maintain status quo surrender status quo – because that is exactly what the recommendation of everyone moving back to the pre 1984 posts amounts to?

    Recommend

  • Truthbetold
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:20AM

    The only way out of this morass is to demilitarise the zone with the UN acting as the guarantor. Can the leadership of the two countries show for once statesmanship to resolve not only the Siachen dispute but all other outstanding disputes and can the two armies assist them in doing so?”

    Let’s be pragmatic and realistic. It is a morass only from the Pakistani point of view. The Indians are perfectly content to continue their posture on Siachen. They can afford the cost, material, logistics and manpower. So, it looks like Pakistan does not have much leverage over this issue.

    Recommend

  • Max
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:27AM

    @Hari Sud:
    Nice try! Why does not India being the bigger brother sets an example? It is time for India to show prudence, commitment to world peace, and diplomatic gesture. So do it. Show some courtesy, Pehlay Aap (you first).

    Recommend

  • Ravish
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:32AM

    Pakistanis are living in another alternate universe where they think that North means East. You’re not getting Siachin. Just learn to live with that fact.

    Recommend

  • Amar
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:21AM

    Brig Sahib, for once in all your articles written you have been balanced about the Indian point of view.
    I have read many on how brave the SSG is etc. and how sloppy the Indian Army is.

    How about sharing with us the casualties that the Pakistan Army had which had the CO fired?

    Your country needs to know how cavalier GHQ is in sending its brave men to certain death.

    What makes you think that the UN is a fair body? Or that the Indian government will trust it?

    How about sending the gangster Dawood back to India alongwith LeT’s Sayed as a start.

    As long as your state policy is to use terrorism as a policy instrument against India ( and Afghanistan) the India people will not permit the handover of Siachen to anyone. And our politicians know that. Not just the Indian Army. The best way out is to demarcate the LOC at the Saltoro ridge and leave token forces their knowing that the era of landgrabs a la Kargil is over.
    If you can handover chunks of Kashmir to China, why not do the same to India to whom it rightfully belongs
    Best
    Amar

    Recommend

  • cosmo
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:25AM

    @Cynical:
    But why??? Just because North is understood as East in Pakistan doesn’t mean India got to live with that faulty understanding.

    Recommend

  • Tknk
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:06AM

    Truly a soldiers account of stuff happening in siachen. I hope guys in the establishment and agencies take note…and save some precious lives.

    Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:13AM

    If you look at the map from where I sit – North is East upto Karakoram pass and that is final. Vacate Siachen or wait for Ghazwa-E-Hind.

    Yours Lovingly,
    Zaid Hamid

    Recommend

  • yajsingh
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:30AM

    Interesting that the author quotes Quaid Post.
    It was strategically so very important for Pakistan therefore the name on its founding father. Not many know that it was equally significant for India and had to be won at every cost. On June 25th 1987 Subedar Bana Singh led a handful men over a near impossible vertical climb. The challenge was never fighting the enemy (Pakistani soldiers) but scaling the peak literally blindfold due to heavy snow. Bana Singh & men were on a do or die mission. Bana Singh reached the summit, threw a grenade in the bunker and locked the door. Not a bullet was fired and there – the post became Bana Post.
    Bana Singh was awarded Param Vir Chakra – India’s highest gallantry award – first time ever during peace (PVC are given only, otherwise, during a war).

    Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2012 - 6:44AM

    No, sir. No “U.N. guarantor”. Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed states, don’t merit that luxury. If they screw up it will be the fault of one or both parties, not the U.N. No excuses.

    Recommend

  • ckb
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:49AM

    Does Pakistan need UN to explain what “North” means? Are you not embarassed enough? You know very well India won’t withdraw from Siachen, so stop blowing hot air.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:58AM

    Banna Singh , born in Jammu and Kashmir, and his men, climbed an icy wall of 1500 ft, with Pakistani army at the top of the peak and then took the peaks in almost hand-to-granade combat. The bravery and valour they demonstrated, in face of insurmountable odds, has never before being seen in world combat history at 21000 ft. The brave Pakistan soldiers who died, their bodies were retrieved by Indian army and handed over to Pakistani army , few days later, in Kargil.

    Recommend

  • anand singh
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:27AM

    A well recounted sequence of events.

    There is however no room for UN or any other 3rd party here or anywhere else in J&K. The ‘ only solution’ is for Pak to accept the Actual Ground Position line( s) and locations so that bot IA & PA can withdraw.

    This Pak is does not want to do as it stands to lose.

    Till then.. Good luck to both sides.

    Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:30AM

    @sandip:
    What do you think about the UN resolution for a plebiscite in Kashmir. History says might is right in the short term.

    Recommend

  • Rakesh Sharma
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:34AM

    Ejaj Haider should read this until it gets through. Then he should go back to his patrons and explain, that calling 2+2 = 5 might buy you some praises in Pakistan but the fact reamains that Indians occupy the glacier + Siachen. Tell your people the truth and then negotiate. This facade of we are on Siachen as well will not get you anywhere.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:52AM

    Bana Post, named after legendary Bana Singh, is the highest post in the world at 21000 ft.
    India should be mad at Pakistan for manufacturing the Siachen dispute and not respecting the LoC accord wording of ‘LoC proceeds North ( and not east or north-east ) to the glaciers, thus imposing grievious costs on both the countries of precious human life and resources.

    Recommend

  • Zillur Rahman
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:25AM

    @Max
    Nice try. If India were foolish to humor “younger brother” Aurangzeb in Pakistan, her own fate wouldn’t be any different than Aurangzeb’s older brothers.

    Recommend

  • vivek ruparel
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:36AM

    @Max: Yaa ryt and u get 2 declare a fake victory against us like u did in 65 after we agreed to return back Haji Pir pass and other Pakistani territory captured during the war. Or like Kargil where u backstabbed when peace process was going on and still claim it to be a victory. We have had enuf. The Kashmir issue is bcz U invaded the region.UN resolution asks ur forces 2 vacate the region. So stop lying and telling half truths. there is no Pehley aap here. Only give and Take. Quid pro quo. If U want Siachin demilitarized, Handover Haji Pir Pass to India and take care of ur economy.

    Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:15AM

    Here’s a fact about Naib Subedar Bana Singh;

    The Punjab Government have offered Naib Subedar Bana Singh Rs 25 lakhs and a monthly allowance of Rs 15,000 and a 25 acre plot of land if he accepted and moved to Punjab. But he refused. Because he considers himself a State Subject of Jammu and Kashmir which gives him only Rs 160/month as an allowance for having won the Param Vir Chakra, the highest bravery award.

    Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2012 - 9:42AM

    How can India be the aggressor, when the agreement clearly states that the area to the North, which includes the strategic heights, belongs to India?

    Noteworthy that not many Pakistanis seem to comprehend or at least debate this fact.

    The solution of UN guaranteeing the pullout is a non-starter. India, as a matter of policy, doesn’t allow outsiders to interfere in border area issues. The problem is a matter of precedence. It will create precedence of outside interference in India’s affairs, something Pakistan wants.

    Recommend

  • DB
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:45AM

    Thank you Brig for setting the record straight and showing that India first invaded Siachen and are now are acting as innocent victims. It is India that is at the heights and this is why it is more expensive for India to maintain a presence in Siachen while their poor do not have access to clean water, food or even toilets.

    It is up to the occupying force to vacate, yet India insists on militarizing the Siachen glacier.

    Recommend

  • DB
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:51AM

    @Aryabhat:
    “When Indians are sitting comfortably on Saltoro range”

    This is level of regard you have for your poor Indian soldiers that you think they are sitting comfortably in Siachen. Did you forget 14 of your armymen that were killed by avalanche just last year?

    Recommend

  • Watty
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:51AM

    What Pakistan tried repeatedly and failed to achieve by military force in Siachen can hardly be achieved by diplomats at a negotiating table. In any case Pakistan has a record of violating all previous negotiated settlements with India. After Kargil and Mumbai terror of 26/11 there now exists a massive trust deficit. One solution is to act in good faith and extradite Mr. Hafeez Syed to face terrorism charges in Indian courts. Such a step can certainly signal a new relationship based on mutual trust.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Not a single pakistani comment on “north” Vs “east”. That sums up the argument

    Recommend

  • Yash
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:24AM

    @Shahzad:

    how about u read that UN resolution first and then comment on sumthin??…it is available on UN website….thank u

    Recommend

  • DB
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:21AM

    @vasan:
    There is no argument about North, West or East. India mounted a military operation to occupy a glacier. Do you know how ridiculous it sounds for a third world country to occupy a glacier? All India needs to do is undo it’s occupation and the Siachen conflict will be over in 2 seconds.

    Every time Pakistan has proposed demilitarization of Siachen, the Indian establishment has stuck down the proposal. No one should be occupying glaciers.

    Recommend

  • He is Soooo Right
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:10PM

    @DB:
    U are a little ‘SLOW’ in ur upper deparement, arent u? When the LOC is north of the NJ 9820420, which puts saichen on India’s side, and if India decides to deploy its soliders over there, how does that constitute to be agression?!! and the author also adds that India did that to pre-empt Pak occupying it because it had gathered Information about it.. So what this article states is that India has been forced to deploy its army there to defend its borders. Author also states that all the offensive attacks have been by Pakistan. See, India was not so alert on Kargil and what Pak army did there..

    Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:14PM

    @vasan:

    The Simla Agreement of 1972 stated that from NJ9842 the boundary would proceed “thence north to the GLACIER”

    Source wikipedea on the Siachen conflict.

    Whereas Wikipedea can be updated for any inaccurate data I understand the word GLACIER is not redundant. But that is not the context of the Soldiers article.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:13PM

    DB: Just to remind you that Pak is no II or I world country. Indian army is in Indian lands/glacier. Non Indians cannot preach what India stations in its lands. Like it or lump it. If u want, you can ask Pak COAS to get down from the heights. Now that he has got wisdom to seek peace with India at the cost of 187 soldiers.

    Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:19PM

    Dear Brigadier,
    See how many Indians praise you when u put facts on table.
    I assure you, If you find Indian army/politicians are at fault,
    Indians will surely not support them.

    We just want Pakistan to be honest with us as we will always be honest to all.
    You be happy let others be happy too.

    Recommend

  • A Peshawary
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:46PM

    If, the policy makers or the actors who could make difference on the issue are reading this articles. Please have mercy on the ecology of the area and refrain from destriyring it. Is it worth to fight on the place which is blood line for million of people.

    Defending territorial boundaries for what, human life or something else? Does this war in particular any war in general serve the pupose, if no than why?

    A Peshawary

    Recommend

  • Hindi hain hum...
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:48PM

    @DB:
    This is level of regard you have for your poor Indian soldiers that you think they are sitting comfortably in Siachen. Did you forget 14 of your armymen that were killed by avalanche just last year?

    We know very well about the death of 17 soldiers (not 14) last year. Also that avalanche occurred off Gulmarg, near the High-Altitude Warfare School. India is well aware of the conditions on the glacier. The reason its expenses are 6 times Pakistan’s is that it has invested in creating better conditions for its soldiers. Being at higher heights makes Indian positions less vulnerable to avalanches and more extensive use of helicopters reduces risks. Now if you had this level of regard for your soldiers, it wouldn’t have resulted in the loss of life that just did.

    Recommend

  • Cyril Gupta
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:55PM

    Pakistan wants to waste it’s young and hot-blooded men by sending them over to India to get killed. That way soon they will only have cowards and sissies left in their own country.

    Recommend

  • Ritz
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:29PM

    Dear All,

    One basic fact every pakistanis needs to know is that they are atleast 5-6 Kms away from Siachen. Saltoro range is in between Siachen. The battle being fought is for access to Siachen.

    http://alaiwah.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/siachinmap20091019.jpg

    Recommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:31PM

    As per 1949 agreement India is very much within her rights to occupy the land in question. Its Pakistan who is responsible for the conflict and thereby losses on both sides. India should demand financial compensation from Pakistan for any settlements of this dispute.

    Recommend

  • Himalay
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:38PM

    Well chronicled article on Siachen, except for author’s account of loss of Qaid post, renamed by Indians as Bana post. The “trust deficit” Indians are sighting for any climb down by it on Siachen, not only refers to Pakistan’s Kargil adventure. but also to its tradition of ceding its Kashmiri territory to its all weather friend. Considering the dire state of its into economy, it won’t be a surprise if Pakistan once again cedes Siachen too to China as a quid pro quo. Pakistan would have killed two birds in a single shot!

    Recommend

  • Abuturab Sahibzada
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:56PM

    Does anyone have Coordinates of NJ 9820420? Lets use Google earth to see what exactly should be the LoC if line from this point to ‘North’ or this point is drawn as indicated by Google Earth.

    Recommend

  • Rahim Khan
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:02PM

    @DB: I am glad to note that except for one odd AB or CD or DB there is no doubt in the common literate pakistanis mind about the position of geographical north. So leaving the odd DBs aside, me thinks we should hand over Siachen to them for primarily two reasons.
    a) Militarily we can never get it back and
    b) Diplomatically India being a status quo power is not going to let go off the status quo,

    So instead of wasting time, money and resources on a barren piece of icy wasteland, we should vacate the glacier and listen to sensible minds like Mr N Sharif. That would take our country forward and release a lot of resources for the upliftment of the common man both in India and Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Amazed
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:20PM

    Param Vir Chakra! This must have been something amazing. Don’t know all the details of the conflict, but if it took that kind of work to get something, you don’t just give it away to soothe younger brother Aurangzeb’s tantrums.

    Recommend

  • Sagar
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:21PM

    @G.A.:
    Are you out of your mind. We Indians are holding Siachen. It is ours. Why would we make it neutral territory? It is like saying make Sindh or Pakistani Punjab neutral territory. Would you agree to that?

    Recommend

  • Adil
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:43PM

    guess its too early to vacate siachen…there’s a lot of trust which needs to be developed before siachen can be demilitarized..open trade and people to people contact and leave siachen/kashmir for the next generation to resolve…

    Recommend

  • Max
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:37PM

    @Zillur Rahman:
    Get out of history and solve the problem. You are too stuck with Mughal period. Mughals were not my ancestors. They came from outside like any other invader, robbed the people of their cultural heritage and economic resources, created a class of yeoman, and build an empire. We are as angry as someone else may be of their misdeeds, family feuds, loot and plunder (include Ghaznavi and Qassim as well).
    Hope that helps you to understand a rational point of view.

    @vivek ruparel Jee. Misperceptions have always played a major role in international conflicts (Robert Jarvis, Perceptions and Misperceptions in International Politics). Regretfully misperceptions were on both sides. We did bad things to you and you did the same to us. It is time to leave the past behind and move on. If we keep on dwelling on the past misdeeds, we will not get anywhere.

    Recommend

  • Deb;India
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:38PM

    @Max

    I agree.

    Recommend

  • G.A.
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:30PM

    @Sagar: It was only an option being considered upon these days in order to save lives of the soldiers who are paying the price for the expansionist race which was started from your side even for this useless+killing-weather area….. no one is taking away this precious territory from you. Keep on enjoying the fruits and profits you are getting from there…

    Recommend

  • Xnain
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:25PM

    If most of our Indian friends dont want to demilitarize the glassier, Sure why not let them stay where they want, if they think they can afford to spend 5times than us and bear almost three times the men loss then us. They are more than welcomed.

    Recommend

  • G. Din
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:24AM

    @Xnain:
    “Sure why not let them stay where they want, if they think they can afford to spend 5times than us and bear almost three times the men loss then us. They are more than welcomed. “
    We are not the ones bitching and cribbing. The whole avalanche (pun intended) of comments and articles and speeches started from Pakistan. There is not one Indian leader who has cared to respond. What does that tell you? We are quite comfortable with the things as they are.
    For your information, India maintains two research stations in Antarctica where climatic conditions are several times worse than on the Siachen. Additionally, in case of an emergency, it is lot harder to get to those stations than to Siachen. Highly regarded scientists and researchers work in those stations. As I said before, we consider Siachen as a kind of lab where we test ourselves and learn how to survive in such conditions We don’t consider being there some kind of burdensome chore to be avoided.

    Recommend

  • Xnain
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:14AM

    @G. Din:
    Now thats quite funny, Antarctica is used not only by many countries (including India) for research but all of them dont use such iditoic ideas (or at least advocate it). I would wish Indians sending their scientists at siachin to have a “taste” of Antarctica.Only to take them back with man minus ear/leg/arms or even soul……sigh….I really hope people in responsible positions are much more sane.

    Recommend

  • G. Din
    Apr 24, 2012 - 4:48PM

    @Xnain:
    You have a queer funny bone which got tickled by my post although there was nothing jocular in it. How do you know India is not sending its scientists to Siachin? Rest of your post makes absolutely no sense!

    Recommend

  • Hot potatoes!
    Apr 24, 2012 - 5:34PM

    Great columns by Zafar Hilaly in The News, and Asma Jehangir in The Dawn.
    One hopes that the educated pakistanis see the dangerous path and point that pakistan has reached. If attitudes towards neighbours do not change, there will be soon a point of no return.

    Recommend

  • Chaudhry
    Apr 25, 2012 - 7:03AM

    Great way to express prejudice without actually seeing the map. Please fol the link ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Un-kashmir-jammu.png” and see what North means.(UN Map)
    Other maps from any website would reveal the same, so please research the map before giving your antipathy.
    “thence north to the glaciers” as used by the author would tell you that the major pass of Siachin Glacier “Bilafond La” and “Sia La” fall in the Pakistan claimed territory. I can also write novels as to how ‘North’ is interpreted as ‘West’ but it would just re live the mental disgust that the commentators have made.

    Recommend

More in Opinion