Giari visit: Kayani talks of toughening Indian stance on Siachen

Following avalanche tragedy, India asking for demarcation of the LoC, says army chief.

Sumera Khan May 04, 2012


During his third visit to avalanche-hit Giari, the army chief termed India’s current stance over Siachen even harsher than in 1989, with its demand for the demarcation of the Line of Control.

Pointing out a regression in talks, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that India is now talking about redefining the bordaerlines. He was talking to the media following his visit on Thursday.

He said that whereas in the past, India would demand an acceptance of the status of Siachen, its stance has changed following the Giari tragedy

He reiterated his call for a peaceful solution over the issue and said both India and Pakistan need to sit and resolve all the issues through dialogue.

“I fully support a peaceful move towards resolving this issue instead of stiffness and deadlock,” he said.

The army chief further said both countries would mutually benefit from a pullout from the area. India is also a stakeholder in the region, he said.

According to Indian daily The Hindu, asked if he had seen any willingness by India to engage with Pakistan following the avalanche and his own call for demilitarisation of Siachen, the army chief said: “In Pakistan, it has got across-the-board support. It has been received positively in India, except with some ifs and buts. Let’s hope we can move forward.”

Rescue efforts

According to an ISPR statement released earlier, the army chief was briefed over the progress of the ongoing work, including efforts to create a watercourse to safely drain a lake formed by the blockage of River Giari due to the avalanche.

The army chief remained with the troops for some time and lauded their motivation in the face of tough conditions and extreme weather. He appreciated their resolve in upholding the army’s proud tradition of not leaving any man behind, regardless of cost.

Thursday was the 27th consecutive day of the rescue and search operation, which is still striving to recover over 140 soldiers and civilians trapped underneath an avalanche that hit the sixth Northern Light Infantry headquarters on April 7 in the Giari sector of Siachen.

According to sources and an operational team available on helplines, over 500 soldiers and civilians are taking part in the operation.

An officer told The Express Tribune that continuous snow slides and blizzards are the main hurdle in removing the heavy layers of snowpack and the equipment is also being affected.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2012.


ayesha_khan | 9 years ago | Reply

@Sandip: "International diplomacy is not conducted via the media. While this approach would work with the larger Pakistani constituency, it certainly wouldn’t cut ice with the Indian government "

Correct. Musharraf had tried to do the same thing by giving a speech in July 2001 which went against the spirit of the agreement he was negotiating with Vajpayee in Agra. He thought he can sign one thing and give a speech to his own people indicating something quite different. Well the agreement which was ready for signatures did not take place. He learnt his lesson and when he negotiated in the subsequent 6 years, he did not repeat his July 2001 folly.

Sandip | 9 years ago | Reply

Pakistani generals will not cease trying to be too clever by halfs. All that the general is trying to do is to deflect the heat that he has been getting from all quarters: Pakistani people, world community and more importantly his own men. This is simply an attempt to try and show as if he is ready for a solution but cannot as the other side is stopping him. The GHQ should grow up and stop playing these childish games. Their use by date is well past. International diplomacy is not conducted via the media. While this approach would work with the larger Pakistani constituency, it certainly wouldn't cut ice with the Indian government or the world community. It needs to be realized that the world is getting increasingly sick of the establishment's games and it's time to make a break with past practices.

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