Ever since General Kayani, the Pakistan army chief, made a statement seeking peaceful co-existence with India and pushed for the demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone, the commentary that has been published on the subject in India has been mostly negative. Some of the views are ultra jingoistic and deserve to be discarded as there is no scope for jingoism in international negotiations. It seems anything to do with protecting Indian interest these days is considered being jingoistic. Only Indians are supposed to fritter away the gains made through blood and guts and the "accommodate" the other party.Some how, all the negotiations start at India's expense.
Other opposition to demilitarisation is primarily on two major issues: firstly, that the Pakistan Army cannot be trusted to honour the demilitarisation agreement; and, secondly, that China and Pakistan will gang up and join hands at Siachen and threaten Ladakh from the north.Apparently, the finer nuances of the de-militarisation process have not been clearly understood. The demilitarisation agreement between India and Pakistan will be a legally binding international agreement.And who will reinforce this so called international binding agreement? Will India need to run to third parties to get Pakistan to vacate any position that is captures? When was the last time Pakistan honored any legally binding international agreement?
It will lay down a step by step process to turn the Siachen conflict zone into a demilitarised zone (DMZ). The first step will be authentication of present deployment positions. Pakistan has out right refused to authenticate AGPL. Marking positions on the map is one thing - both sides agreeing to the positions on the map is totally different. I'm yet to see a single Pakistan source claiming that they'll "authenticate" AGPL like LOC. I think some smart word play is being used by Indian proponents of this Siachen process
This will be followed by disengagement from the AGPL and, finally, the movement of troops, guns and war-like stores to previously agreed positions. The step by step demilitarisation process will be mutually agreed by the two DGMOs and approved by the political authorities.The demilitarisation agreement will be without prejudice to either country’s stated position on the extension of the Line of Control (LoC) beyond NJ9842. Basically, we are back to square one. Why is it that only we Indians have this grand ability to self flagellate and give away our gains? What is this BS about "prejudice to stated positions"? The very reason that IA went up the glacier is because we believed then that Siachen is Indian territory. And that is what we're believed ever since. So, why this sudden urge to undo almost 30 years of sacrifice? Why are we so hell-bent on giving Pakistan a foot in the door? The territory is Indian and shall remain so....PA can go fly a kite for all they want. Why is this sudden urge to foist "disputed territory" on the Siachen and even accept Pakistan claim to it?
This reference on military maps is the point up to which the Cease Fire Line was jointly demarcated under the Karachi Agreement of 1949 and the Shimla Agreement of 1972. In fact, a Joint Commission will be appointed to negotiate the extension of the LoC beyond NJ9842. This commission will begin its work simultaneously with the commencement of the process of demilitarisation. However, agreement on the extension of the LoC beyond NJ9842 cannot be a prelude to the commencement of demilitarisation, as some analysts are suggesting. Such a condition, if imposed by India, will make demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone a non-starter and both sides will be forced to continue to maintain their present deployments with all the attendant costs. This is ch**tiyapanti of the highest order - have we not always claimed and believed that the glacier falls well within Indian territory - after all, the agreement reads thence, north to the glacier. Where is the ambiguity here? By agreeing to a joint commission we're basically doing two things - (a) saying that what we've believed all along about extension of LOC was wrong (b) giving maneuver space to Pakistan - the final result will be "accommodating" PA to alleviate some other anxiety that may have. The net gains will be for Pakistan as the "compromise" position will lie between Indian and Pakistan claim lines.
As part of demilitarisation, the disengagement and redeployment of all military forces to agreed positions will be verified independently by national technical means (satellites, air photos and electronic surveillance) as well as physically through joint helicopter sorties. Subsequent monitoring of the DMZ will also be similarly undertaken. No military activity will be permitted in the DMZ. In addition to mutually agreed physical monitoring being conducted jointly with laid down periodicity, both sides will have the right to conduct surprise inspections of suspected military movements. A joint monitoring centre will be established.
As both verification and monitoring will be transparent joint activities, it will be ensured that the process of demilitarisation is completed to the mutual satisfaction of both India and Pakistan.
The demilitarisation agreement will contain a clause permitting both sides to take any action that is deemed appropriate, including the use of military means, in case the agreement is violated by the other side. Unauthorised military movement will not go unchallenged. The intruding personnel will be targeted by helicopter gunships and the fighter-ground attack aircraft of the Indian Air Force, as also by armed drones. In case any bunker that is vacated by Indian troops is occupied by the Pakistanis, it will be destroyed by using precision strike munitions. Under these circumstances, even if the Pakistan army has intentions of attempting to occupy vacated Indian bunkers, it will not succeed in doing so.The level of naivety displayed by veterans like GK at times is astonishing - gunships and FGA? what next - spaced based weapons and lasers? Does the good brigadier not realize that using air-power in those areas is sub-optimal - have we forgotten Kargil? And what would be the level of defense preparedness in India for CCS to authorize employment of FGA? Again, do we don't know about how air power came to be employed in Kargil?
Small enemy patrols intruding surreptitiously into the DMZ will not be able to survive beyond a few days in the high altitude wilderness. They will need sustained helicopter support for ammunition, rations and fuel for warming. Supply helicopters will be easily detected and shot down. Sure Had this not come from GK, I could have laughed this off. Is is hard to phathom that if Pakistan as a nation decides to take Siachen, it will involve the air factor as well? IAF will first need to simultaneously contest the airspace as well as "shooting down" them helicopters. Also, why does GK feel that PA will need to rely only on helicopter support? It has far shorter lines of communication - it can use porters and mules to support and sustain troops in the region. Will India attack PA positions in Ghyari/Goma/Khapalu?
Large-scale intrusions of platoon to company size will be neutralised by air-to-ground strikes by the IAF with quick reaction reserves – that will be maintained in a high state of operational readiness in Ladakh – being employed for ‘mopping up’ operations. One simple anomaly in the above hypothesis - troops stationed in Ladakh cannot be utilized in Siachen? Why you ask? Well, there is a difference between troops acclimatized for Ladakh and High-Altitude Area (HAA). You need HAA reserves to be able to deploy quickly to the glacier. And what force levels are we talking about here? Remember 1:7 Ratio for mountains? Well, even that failed in Kargil. So, how many troops and what logistical support level needs to be maintained? As for "mopping up" operations, last time we made such an assumption, we ended up with fiasco of Kargil in initial days.
Hence, it will be militarily impossible for Pakistan to ‘hand over’ portions of the DMZ to China or to gang up with that country to jointly threaten Ladakh. Those who are imagining such linkages are seeing phantoms and vastly overstating the threat.A more concrete reply w/o hand waving comment could have been better here.
The demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone will not only act as a huge military-to-military confidence building measure, it will also test the Pakistan army’s sincerity and will be an opportunity for that army to prove that it has actually had a change of heart at the strategic level in wanting peace with India. It is a low risk option to test whether the Pakistan army can be trusted and India must not lose the opportunity to do so. As I said earlier, it is India which must always take the first step - somehow, I see no enthusiasm on part of PA to prove its credentials.
However, India must draw up a demilitarisation agreement that takes care of all political and military apprehensions and make it clear to the Pakistan leadership that no military violation will be tolerated.