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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