India Rejects Siachen Demilitarisation

Indi­an Chief of the Army staff Gen V. K. Singh has said that Gen­er­al Ash­faq Parvez Kayani’s remarks on Siachen’s demil­i­tari­sa­tion could not be tak­en seri­ous­ly.

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Last month, Kayani had told media that both Pak­istan and India should talk about pulling out troops from the region and spend more on the devel­op­ment and pros­per­i­ty of their peo­ple. How­ev­er, he made it clear that it should not be tak­en as Pakistan’s weak­ness. The Indi­an gen­er­al reject­ed Kayani’s pro­pos­al to demil­i­tarise the Siachen Glac­i­er. “These are all gim­micks that keep com­ing from the estab­lish­ment in Pak­istan and we will be fools if we fall for them,” Singh main­tained.

“Today you are sit­ting in dom­i­nat­ing heights which can­not be giv­en away. I am sor­ry. Who is going to look after them? Today, your infra­struc­ture is pret­ty well advanced. We are per­fect­ly okay up there,” Singh said.

Ever since the Kargil war, which hap­pened as a result of Pak­istani sol­diers occu­py­ing trans-Himalayan heights in 1999, the Indi­an Army is not in a mood to take any chances. Sources told The Tri­bune today that the Chi­na fac­tor, too, has also been tak­en into the account.

There are near­ly 11,000 men of People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) in Gilgit, Baltistan and oth­er parts of the Pak­istan occu­pied Kash­mir. Some of them are very close to the glac­i­er.

Pak­istan had, in the last talks on the glac­i­er in May last year, stressed on the involve­ment of Chi­na in the future talks on Siachen.

This has dou­bled the threat to “our strate­gic asset,” a senior army offi­cer told The Tri­bune. The Chi­na-Pak­istan nexus presents a wor­ry­ing sce­nario for the Indi­an Army. The North­ern Com­mand chief Lt. Gen. K T Par­naik, while talk­ing of the nexus, had said that the pres­ence of “Chi­nese troops in Gilgit, Baltistan and Pak­istan occu­pied Kash­mir was a wor­ry­ing sce­nario for the Indi­an army.”


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