India-Pakistan Siachen talks in June: Foreign Ministry

By AFP
Published: May 11, 2012
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We want to resolve all issues through meaningful and result-oriented dialogue: Foreign Ministry spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

We want to resolve all issues through meaningful and result-oriented dialogue: Foreign Ministry spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said Friday that it would host the next round of talks with India over the disputed Siachen Glacier, dubbed the world’s highest battlefield, on June 11-12 in Islamabad.

Troops from India and Pakistan have faced off on the glacier in the mountains of disputed Kashmir since the 1980s but calls for the stand-off to end have been growing after an avalanche on April 7 which buried 140 people at a Pakistani army camp.

“Siachen is part of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan and defence secretary level talks on Siachen will be held on June 11 and 12 in Islamabad,” foreign ministry spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan told AFP.

“We want to resolve all issues through meaningful and result-oriented dialogue, and Siachen is an issue which is a source of concern for both the countries,” Khan added.

Pakistan’s army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, last month called for a negotiated end to the confrontation and said the glacier should be demilitarised.

Previous rounds of negotiations between Delhi and Islamabad on Siachen have ended in stalemate. Pakistan has said a redeployment of forces is one of “several proposals” made during the dialogue process.

India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament this week that Pakistan would have to reveal its troop positions before any disengagement could be undertaken and he cautioned against high expectations.

“Don’t expect dramatic results (from the next round of talks). It is a complicated issue,” he said.

Sections of the Indian media have also raised doubts about the talks and any suggestion that India should relinquish a strategically important territory where hundreds of troops have lost their lives.

“Could PM gift away to Pakistan what Army has won?” read a headline for a front-page article in this week’s India Today current affairs magazine which detailed the opposition from within the Indian army.

An editorial said an agreement on Siachen would be an achievement for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who yearns for a peace deal with Pakistan, but “for the country it may however amount to surrender for very little gain”.

Relations between India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947, have been plagued by border and resource disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity against India.

This week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna pressed Pakistan to do more to combat militant terror networks, saying its territory should not be used as a launch pad for terrorist attacks anywhere.

Washington believes rapprochement between arch-rivals India and Pakistan can help ease regional tensions over Afghanistan as US combat troops prepare to leave in 2014.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • vasan
    May 11, 2012 - 10:56AM

    Let us see whether the recent tragedy brings a solution now atleast.

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  • Udaya Bose
    May 11, 2012 - 12:23PM

    It remains to be seen whether Pakistan has the courage and the honesty to accept the demarcation of the Actual Ground Position Line so that troops can be withdrawn. To withdraw you need to know where you are withdrawing from. Stands to reason.

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  • munchkin bob
    May 11, 2012 - 12:24PM

    That’s a news. Better than being nothing. Even good if that’s just a formality ..

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  • Good decision
    May 11, 2012 - 12:28PM

    The outcome of these talks will be the same as what Indian Defense Minister said yesterday in the Parliament – only on India’s terms.

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  • Good decision
    May 11, 2012 - 1:05PM

    The outcome of these talks will be the same as what Indian Defense Minister said yesterday in the Parliament – only on India’s terms.Recommend

  • May 11, 2012 - 1:36PM

    This report needs to be corrected.

    First of all Pakistan is not on Siachen, it is far lower. It has tried to conquer the heights but were repelled many times by the Indian forces. Which means India has complete, undeniable control over Siachen.

    Second, if the larger power has all the cards, any negotiation must follow the narrative and the demands of the larger power. In this case, Pakistan has nothing to give but everything to gain, which will hamper its negotiating position.

    There is only one and only one solution to this: Authenticating of AGPL, as sought by the Indian side.

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  • Hedgefunder
    May 11, 2012 - 3:22PM

    This dialogue is only due to Pakistan’s current position ! Nothing else ! It will not achieve anything new, just as all the dialogues in past 60 years !
    Waste of time, for India at present.

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  • May 11, 2012 - 3:44PM

    @Udaya Bose:
    we wont withdraw unilaterally and Siachen is Pakistani territory

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  • Altaf Hussai, Mumbai.
    May 11, 2012 - 4:38PM

    India is holding Saltoro Ridge. India is at a higher elevation. India is able to oversee the strategic Karakoram Pass and associated movement of men and machinery. India has invested heavily over the last twenty years to build infra structure, including arctic helicopters. India is in a position to sweep down westward. India has adequately budgeted the operating cost. On the other hand, Pakistan is in the valleys, (looking upward to Indian positions). Pakistani Army units are trapped in valleys and face perenial threat of landslides, be it of boulders or snow. Pakistani access to China via Saltoro is blocked (and vice versa). Pakistan is hard pressed financially as they can ill afford the cost. Now some bright sparks suggest that both Pakistan and India should simulaneously withdraw troops from Siachen because Pakistan has lost 140 odd men to a landslide. Some wishful thinking! Even after Kargil fiasco, the Pakistani COAS has the cheek to suggest that Indian Army should have faith on Pakistani Generals. There seems to be only one way forward: demarcate the actual position on the ground and withdraw. Anything else is a waste of time. Forget Dr. Manmohan Singh, even the whole federal cabinet collectively cannot throw away all the hard earned strategic gains made by Indian armed forces. Recommend

  • G. Din
    May 11, 2012 - 4:40PM

    “…Siachen is an issue which is a source of concern for both the countries,” Khan added.”
    No, it is not for India! Do not try to equate yourself to India. If you are concerned enough, withdraw. India is not going to move an inch from where it is until you sign off on AGPL.

    Pakistan and all Islamic countries must reconcile to the notion that no country in the world will bend to their predatory, aggressive posture any more. That goes doubly for India.

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  • Concerned
    May 11, 2012 - 5:53PM

    Recognition of the AGPL as LoC is the key which should necessarily be agreed to by Pakistan inorder to solve this intricate problem for ever.

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  • Hedgefunder
    May 11, 2012 - 6:22PM

    @Concerned:
    Recognition of the AGPL as LoC is the key which should necessarily be agreed to by Pakistan inorder to solve this intricate problem for ever.

    Does Pakistan Elite and Leadership have will to commit to the above????
    My guess is no !
    History too suggest otherwise, as it was the in 70’s post East Pakistan, at Simla Conferance !

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  • Travian
    May 11, 2012 - 9:58PM

    Time for toughtalk. India should offer a once and for all solution, Just accept border, forget Siachen, sir creek, kashmir. Or else no further talks. Either take this or else you aint going to get anything!

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  • May 12, 2012 - 4:32PM

    General Pakistan- Sir how are you?
    General India – Fine?………………………….(QUIET)………………….THE MEETING FAILED BECAUSE PARTIES NEVER AGREE ON TERMS….HAHAHHA

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