Indo-Pakistan talks on Siachen end in deadlock

Thursday, May 25, 2006 The Defence Secretary-level discussion between India and Pakistan on demilitarising the Siachen glacier ended in a stalemate, without any major breakthroughs being made. Both sides however declared they would abide by the cease-fire agreement made in 2003.

India says that it will not pull its troops back from their current position on the world's highest battlefield till Pakistan agrees to validate its present position on the ridges that hem the glacier. Indian Liuetenant General Pattabiramayyah has said that unless the Pakistan clarifies its current position on a map, India will be susceptible to a surprise attack similar to the one that occurred in the Kargil sector in 1997. Pakistan believes that recognition of Indian positions would be a de-facto surrender of its claim over territory from the last marked point on the Line of Control - Point NJ 9842 - to the Karakoram Pass.

Both countries have maintained troop positions on the ridges for over 20 years. The inhospitable Siachen glacier, according to a Ladakhi proverb, is a place where "one is only visited by either his closest friends or deepest enemies".