Indian Army Chief is not serious in Siachen D-militarization
By Zaheerul Hassan
On 26 May2012, Indian Army Chief Gen V K Singh during an interview has expressed that Pakistan Army Chief General Kayani¡¯s statement on Siachen¡¯s de-militarization could not be taken seriously. It is worth mentioning here that last month; Kayani told media that India and Pakistan negotiate bilaterally for pulling out armies from the region and spend more on the development and prosperity of their people. At that time, Pakistani COAS made it clear that it should not be taken as Pakistan¡¯s weakness. He stressed that Pakistan Armed forces are deployed in the region to defend borders of country.
It is notable that Siachen issue appeared on the list of Indo-Pak conflicts as a result of an expedition report of 1984, which revealed the occupation of Indian troops in an impassable and un-demarcated Pakistani area. In this area most of mountaineering expeditions were used to visit the peaks while routing through Pakistan.
Anyhow, India made a claim over the area of Siachen which is almost 700 KM in length. The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalaya Mountains at about 5¡ã25¡ä16¡åN 77¡ã06¡ä34¡åE/ 35.421226¡ãN 77.109540¡ãE/ 35.421226; 77.109540, just east of the Line of Control between India-Pakistan. At 70 km (43 mi) long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world's non-polar areas. It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head at Indira Col on the China border down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at its terminus.
However, Islamabad rejected Indian stance over the Glacier and moved her forces to Siachen area with a view to stop further advancement of Indian troops. Pakistan has maintained that the natural boundary, or the ceasefire line ¡ª subsequently renamed the LOC ¡ª must go North-East to the Karakorum Pass from the point where the current demarcation ends (MJ9842), India, on the other hand, had held that the line travelled vertically North from that point. India¡¯s claim would have placed the Karakorum Pass just across from the Indian controlled areas; an eventuality both China and Pakistan would resist. The 1972 Simla Agreement merely located the boundary ¡®thence north to the glaciers¡¯. But then, India moved to annex the series of peaks along the Saltoro Ridge, which travels exactly North-West eating further into 3,000 Square kilometers ms) of the Pakistani territory.
Beyond any doubt we can also say that explosive has polluted the highest grounds and put adverse environmental effects in the area. The glacial melt advances under the weight of the two armies occupying those heights, there is an established danger of both India and Pakistan rapidly galloping towards the ignominy of water-stressed nations. Moreover, heavy expenditures of both the countries are increasing day by day. In this regards India is bearing expenditures almost five times more than Pakistan.
Concluding, I suggest that in the first phase the area should be declared no military zone. Meanwhile, India should first start withdrawal of her forces since she is one that launched aggression against Pakistan. UNO should interfere, and make some serious efforts to resolve the dispute between two nuclear neighbours and should constitute a commission to re-demarcate the boundaries of northern areas and Kashmir to avoid future conflict between Indo-Pak.