Siachen issue unlikely to be resolved in near future
Waqar Ahmed


Security management experts and defence analysts at Islamabad’s leading think-tanks are of the opinion that the Siachen issue between Pakistan and India will not be resolved in the near future. For this they blame the Indian Army which, they say, is the main stumbling block to the resolution of the issue.

“While the Pakistan Army chief has been talking about ways to resolve the issue and the government doing all it can to improve the bilateral relations, there is no such desire from the Indian Army,” said an analyst who also pointed out to the Indian Army chief VK Singh’s statement on General Kayani’s proposal on demilitarizing the glacier. The Indian general had claimed that “these are all gimmicks that keep coming from the establishment in Pakistan and we will be fools if we fall for them”.

Similarly, he said, the Indian Army’s Northern Command chief Lt Gen K T Parnaik declared that since Pakistan had stressed on the involvement of China in future talks on the glacier, therefore, it had doubled the threat to Indian strategic assets. Parnaik also pointed at the alleged presence of Chinese troops in GB and AJ&K, which according to him was a worrying scenario for the Indian Army.

“It has been 13 years since the Kargil issue but the Indian Army has failed to come out of the debacle it had then faced and adapt to the new ground realities,” said the analyst.

Another analyst, when asked about the Sicahen issue, repeated the statement of Lt Gen M.L. Chibber, former GoC-in-C Indian Northern Army Command, who had conceded that, “Siachen does not have any strategic significance. The strategic importance being talked about is all invention.” Chibber was the man who was responsible for planning and mounting Operation Meghdoot under which the Indian Army had occupied the glacier on April 13, 1984.

According to Indian journalist AG Noorani, Pakistan and India had almost reached an agreement in 1992 on the Siachen dispute after Islamabad agreed to recording the existing troop positions in an annex, but the Indian political leadership developed cold feet.

The analysts said they did not believe the Indian media reports that it was the Pakistan Army that was responsible for postponement of talks on Sir Creek and deferment of signing of Bilateral Visa Agreement to pressurize India on Siachen but it was the Indian Army that was the real hurdle. “It is actually the other way round as the Indian Army has emphatically suggested to Indian government not to accede to Pakistani suggestions,” said a defence analyst.