India, Pakistan in talks on disputed glacier

Indian and Pakistani defence officials held a fresh round of talks Monday (June 11th) seeking to end decades of dispute over the Siachen Glacier in the Himalayas.

“The two sides will discuss Siachen and other matters related to defence affairs,” Sohail Aftab, a spokesman for the defence ministry, told AFP. The two days of talks were being held at the Pakistani ministry in Rawalpindi.

India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony has warned against any expectations of a breakthrough, saying that India would explain its “clear-cut position” on Siachen to the Pakistanis.

All of the twelve previous rounds of talks on Siachen ended in stalemate.

After an April 7th avalanche killed 140 people at a Pakistani army camp near the Siachen, Pakistan’s army chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani called the glacier to be demilitarised.

But India, which captured the commanding peaks in 1984, sees the glacier as vital to monitor Pakistani positions below and important for the defence of its part of Kashmir.

Pakistani troops have tried but failed to seize control of the sliver of territory, where sub-zero temperatures and high altitude have caused countless deaths.

 

Source: Khabar South Asia

 

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