Wednesday, 1 June 2011

India, Pakistan Glacier Talks Yield No Progress

India and Pakistan Tuesday concluded a 12th round of talks over a disputed Himalayan glacier where troops have clashed intermittently since 1984 without reporting any progress.

This is a piece of good news most Indians were waiting for. Under the UPA regime due to its weak policies, it was feared that Siachen will be handed over to Pakistan disregarding the deep-reservation's within the Indian Military. 

Siachen is one of the most strategic areas of the world, because who-ever controls that height dominates the junction between India,Pakistan and China. Through the passes you can come into India within 4 days and there are no approaches which remain un-observed.In military sense it was a master stroke of Mrs Gandhi and her generals to capture these icy peaks.Once lost it is impossible to win, just imagine only 4000 soldiers defend this area compared to nearly a division of Pakistani army.

Kargil and Post Point 13620 offers a classic case study in decision making.This post overlooks Kargil town and the Srinagar-Leh road, for long the sole lifeline to Ladakh. Artillery observers from this post used to bring down accurate fire on the town and the highway at will.

In May 1965, while the attention of the Pakistanis was focussed on fighting in the Rann [ Images ] of Kutch, a Rajput battalion in a daring daytime attack on May 17, 1965 captured the post and made the highway secure for the first time since 1947.

But under UN pressure, it was handed back to Pakistan.

When infiltration in the Kashmir valley began on August 9, 1965, the Indian Army again attacked Post Point 13620 and captured it. But then came the Tashkent agreement of January 10, 1965, and along with the strategic Haji Pir pass, the Kargil post was again handed back to Pakistan.

Finally in 1971, the Ladakh Scouts under the inspiring leadership of Colonel Rinchan captured not only Point 13620, but the entire ridge during the December war.

It is difficult to find a parallel in world history of an army capturing a mountain post at great human cost and giving it back to the enemy not once, but twice!

The estranged South Asian neighbors in a joint statement said talks, which began May 30, "enhanced understanding of each other's position" on the Siachen glacier, the world's highest battlefield.

"Both sides presented their positions and suggestions towards the resolution of Siachen," it said following the two-day talks between Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar with his Pakistani counterpart Syed Athar Ali. It added that they had agreed "to meet again at a mutually-convenient date in Islamabad," without giving any further details.

India in 1984 occupied key areas on Siachen, raising fears of another all-out conflict between the neighbors, and in 1987 the two militaries fought a fierce skirmish on the 6,300-metre (20,800-foot) high frigid mass.

Ties between the nuclear-armed rivals, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, have improved over the last year after contacts between prime ministers and other senior government figures.

The meeting in New Delhi was part of the start-stop peace process aimed at bringing lasting stability to South Asia, the May 31 statement said the two countries "welcomed the ongoing dialogue process."

India broke off all contact with Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were staged by the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba according to Indian and Western intelligence.