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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012 18:38 
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^^ On Siachen i also think; that we can place Human tracking radars ( i think its there on some parts of border) to ensure there is no repeat of Kargil...


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012 19:11 
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I have a proposal on Siachen that should satisfy all concerned....Thinking out of the box... :mrgreen:

Why not move off the Glacier/Saltaro ridge on to Ghyari. That way all the peace-nicks on both side of the border will get their troop free Siachen. Indian Army will still be in control of siachen and Baki army will save a packet on expenses. The PM's on both side of the border will get to share the no-b@ll pi$$ prize.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012 20:37 
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pankajs wrote:
I have a proposal on Siachen that should satisfy all concerned....Thinking out of the box... :mrgreen:

Why not move off the Glacier/Saltaro ridge on to Ghyari. That way all the peace-nicks on both side of the border will get their troop free Siachen. Indian Army will still be in control of siachen and Baki army will save a packet on expenses. The PM's on both side of the border will get to share the no-b@ll pi$$ prize.

This was exactly my proposal several years ago. IA should take Gyari and also lower reaches inside the valley on the west side of the Saltoro. But for long term control IA/India needs Skardu which is a must. Skardu is the key to all the geo politics around Siachen. We have to make Siachen glaciers irrelevant in the final calculations.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012 22:42 
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manjgu wrote:
ShauryaT....

"There is no attack force coming in from the Glaciers or the Saltoro, so I do not get the import of this question." ..

you need to get ur geogrphy right..there are ingress routes from the southern glacier region into the Ladhak valley..if u let go Siachen then u should be prepared to let go Ladhak and make a last stand at Khardung La!!!
manjgu ji: Defense at Khardung La, assumes loss of Nubra Valley/Thoise and Siachen Base Camp to TSPA. I do not know why would someone jump to this conclusion of a loss of these, to make a stand at Khardung La. These locations have always been IA held. Also, do not know how many quotes from how many respected Generals and army men does it take to convince someone that TSPA is no match for the IA in the area and the topography of the land does not favor an invasion force for ANYONE, but I am convinced on the matter that Siachen can be held, without physical control. The only risk, as I see it is a stupid frontal assault like the one at Kargil, if demilitarization breaks down, for supposed political compulsions and moralistic positions by the political masters, which is an Indian problem and this assumes that all monitoring mechanisms break down with TSPA or IA failed to monitor and react in time.

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Ladhak will become double vulnerable both from east and north.
You mean Ladakh is vulnerable from the North as PLA will somehow figure out to invade Ladakh from the desolate lands of Shaksgam by running over Indira col. Maybe my geography is weak, but from what little I know, it seems a near impossibility due to the terrain. Also, why on earth will PLA choose this route of ingress is beyond me.

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Everybody is talking of Pakis reoccupying the heights..however what abt possibility of chinese occupying these heights? then which reserve force of yours will come into play??
Well the Chinese are there on the 2000+KM LAC, if they want to come in there are better routes and lands for them to occupy, right? Also, let us be a little realistic and have some faith in our forces. It is not like the Chinese are coming and we should dhoti shiver as we are sitting lambs. I have always maintained that on the Indo-China border, who is the hunter or the hunted between India and China is a toss up. IOW: 1962 comes only once and shall not be repeated.

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Siachen has to be held at all costs.
Who is talking about giving it up?
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This ambigous/lax attitude towards our own territory emboldens our enemies and gives them hope of squeezing us more.
Our claimed sovereign territory is the entire state. If we have not prepared and are NOT serious about PoK then no point in being an enemy forever. A compromise with the enemy is the next best step.

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I was talking to Lt Gen Hoon ( Retd) who was one of the architects of Op Meghdoot and the plans at that time were to go much deeper into POK to secure our borders and to cut off KKH or atleast reach close to it almost till Skardu !! . However, Mrs Gandhi cautioned against that and gave permission for occupying Saltoro heights.
With all due respect to the General. My read is there is no logical invasion route to Skardu from the Saltoro ranges. The highest one is through the Shyok river valley, which we managed to progress on in 1971 and is south of NJ 9842. There are some serious critiques to General Hoon's analysis of the situation in 83/84.

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Even authenticating the AGPL is only at best a precaution and no more.
It is the pre-cursor to a line of control. Once ratified TSPA is toast for any violation and the IA and GoI will give it back to them. In fact part of me hopes that PA violates it and the GoI is bold enough and the IA prepared for some real objectives in the region. Siachen is a waste of time and resources.

Do not intend to continue back and forth, as my mind on this issue is made up, based on current assessment of facts, as I see them. If facts or its assessment changes, I am more than willing to change my views.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012 23:06 
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ShauryaT wrote:
....I am convinced on the matter that Siachen can be held, without physical control. The only risk, as I see it is a stupid frontal assault like the one at Kargil, if demilitarization breaks down, for supposed political compulsions and moralistic positions by the political masters, which is an Indian problem and this assumes that all monitoring mechanisms break down with TSPA or IA failed to monitor and react in time.

You may be convinced, but the IA is not. Otherwise they would not be opposing demilitarization for so long. I don't think our Generals like posting soldiers at difficult to reach locations with horrible weather hazards. They do it because in their judgement, it is essential.

The other thing is, you say that you are convinced that "Siachen can be held, without physical control". And then you mention this " The only risk, as I see it is a stupid frontal assault like the one at Kargil, if demilitarization breaks down". Pardon me but I think "demilitarization breaking down" is just a euphemism for the pakis walking in and capturing our positions as soon as the last Indian soldier leaves Saltoro. So "demilitarization breaking down", basically means that you have failed to hold Siachen without physical control. And that is exactly what the IA wants to avoid. The "stupid frontal assault" you talk about would only be needed if the Pakis are already on Saltoro and you have egg on your face. Any other option to take back our positions which you come up with will also involve significant loss of life with less than favorable chances of achieving the objective.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012 23:37 
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A General Speaketh :The Siachen tangle
By Lt. Gen S K Sinha
Worth reading in full
Quote:
Although our positions on the Saltoro Ridge are impregnable, Pakistan has the advantage of better communication from the plains. Its forces can trek to Saltoro in a week, while we will take three weeks. If Pakistan does a Kargil there, it will be totally impossible to evict Pakistan. In the circumstances, a step-by-step approach to peace in Kashmir with Siachen as the first step can be suicidal. Demilitarisation of Siachen should only be a part of the complete peace arrangement in Kashmir.

The writer, a retired lieutenant-general, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and J&K


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 01:16 
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nachiket wrote:
You may be convinced, but the IA is not. Otherwise they would not be opposing demilitarization for so long.
From what I know, their demand is for AGPL ratified. Which the GoI supports. To my knowledge, they have not opposed demilitarization point blank.

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Pardon me but I think "demilitarization breaking down" is just a euphemism for the pakis walking in and capturing our positions as soon as the last Indian soldier leaves Saltoro.
First, if you believe this then you ought to oppose ANY demilitarization and peace efforts towards TSP. Unfortunately, I do not think there are any buyers for war in New Delhi.

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Any other option to take back our positions which you come up with will also involve significant loss of life with less than favorable chances of achieving the objective.
How so? Are you saying that a frontal assault Kargil style is the best amongst the available options? I would rather focus my energies on, if in the event TSP breaches, what shall be our non-linear response options? The IA and GoI should codify these war plans and the certain fact of an escalated response to a breach should be communicated to TSPA. Let them then, take the risk of facing the IA. We should be threatening them, not be threatened by them.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 01:24 
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Issues of National, Ecological and Human Security in the Siachen Glacier Region - P. K. Gautam

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Policy-makers now have to re-evaluate national security, ecological security, and human security. Which is most important? It is unlikely that the three can be separated, as they are all entwined. A pull back without trust may lead to another bout of fighting if Pakistan were then to occupy the heights on AGPL. This will be a greater ecological and human disaster.

Glacier outburst flows, extreme weather conditions, and events such as avalanches, it seems, may increase due to global warming in the near future. In Figure 1, the timeline ended at 2010 with a question mark for subsequent years. It would augur well for both sides to conduct more joint scientific studies and, without any loss of face on either side, put in place an AGPL agreement within a reasonable time frame.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 06:41 
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ShauryaT...

a) u need to get ur geography right once again ...if u think that the only ingress route for Chinese into Ladhak is across Indra Col ( shaksgam valley) , then I cant debate much with u. When i meant vulnerable from north ( i meant Pakis) and from east ( from china). Now go back to ur google earth and ponder abt it.

b) the point i was making that if u leave saltoro ungaurded, u give Pakis chance to unhinge our defence of Ladhak. and as they come rolling down , the next place to defend Ladhak will be across Khardung La. and if things have gone so bad that u r defending Khardung La, dont be surprised if u see chinese also spiting fire down ur throat at other places and rolling u up till is it Chang La? . then u might as well pack ur bags and raise the flag at Rohtang !!.

c) some of the generals I talked to are however of the opinion that we must develop capabilities to evict Pakis from saltoro without the need of frontal assaults but more by use of technology and firepower. I am not sure how this capability can be developed , deployed as i am not a military man. I leave it to wiser minds. But what surprised me was that none saw or atleast verbalised threat from the chinese to the saltoro ridge/India.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 08:05 
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ShauryaT wrote:
but I am convinced on the matter that Siachen can be held, without physical control.


umm....and how does one achieve that? :-?


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 09:19 
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Raja Bose wrote:
ShauryaT wrote:
but I am convinced on the matter that Siachen can be held, without physical control.


umm....and how does one achieve that? :-?
There is a PPT template by Gurmeet Kanwal, posted in this thread. Please review.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 11:30 
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Here is what I wrote on pg 10:
Quote:
I glanced at the proposal...seems to be built on hope that Pakis will be honest. Talks about opening another front (military and economical) if Pakis renege. Have not seen a response to many Paki infractions in recent times. The Infy and other 'bigs' opposed Op. Prakram...so who knows how much support and will a future govt. will have to take on Pakis if the back off. At the same time it is certainly not the best of situation for our soldiers.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 19:06 
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Special Commentary: Resolving the ‘Siachen’ Dispute - Dipankar Banerjee

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Siachen myths
The ‘Siachen’ problem still remains formidable. Over the years both India and Pakistan have built their respective narratives over their claims to the region, the origin and history of the conflict, and even its geography. There is little common ground between the two and it is futile at present even to attempt a reconciliation seeking change in attitudes. Without further ado we should accept the current reality for what it is and construct a solution that will be equally disagreeable to both sides, but acceptable to each because it will still provide substantive benefits to both. A resolution that will allow each side to claim victory and sell it successfully to its people. At least on two earlier occasions we came close to a resolution. Let us begin again determined to complete the process, irrespective of perceived petty gains to this side or the other.

This attempt has to start with demolishing some myths. Myth number one is that the conflict is about the ‘Siachen’ glacier. Actually, it is about occupation of the Saltoro Ridge. A glacier is by definition, ‘moving ice’, of sudden and deep crevasses and sharp rocky heights, where no troops can be deployed. Of the glaciers that abound in the Karakorum Range, Siachen at 77 km is the longest and lies to the east of the Saltoro Ridge. Saltoro is a sharp mountain ridge running north to south, large parts of which India occupied on 13 April 1984 and continues to hold till today. Fierce sub-unit attacks launched by both sides in these formidable altitudes over the years effected only minor changes till the cease-fire in November 2003 brought an end to fighting. Indian forces have to cross several treacherous routes across Siachen glacier to reach and sustain its defensive positions to the west on the Saltoro. Pakistani forces are mostly west of the Saltoro ridge on lower ground and have to climb sharply in order to approach the ridgeline. Ghyari was one such base on the side of a hill, over which the snowy mountain descended suddenly. An early self goal by India was not publicizing this reality effectively. As a result it is ‘Siachen’ that wrongfully symbolizes in both countries the contested battleground.

The second myth is that the region is of great strategic importance. This is an illusion. In practice, occupying the ridge provides no advantage to either side. The mistake arises when one looks at a flat map of the area spread on a table and imagines that either the Karakoram Pass on the Indian side, the Khunjerab Pass on the Gilgit Highway to Xinjiang, or the Shaksgam valley to the north near China can be reached. Any one who thinks so has not been to the area and cannot read a map. He should instead be shown a pictorial of the area with its perpetual snow covered ridges, glaciers and their crevasses and snowy mountain redoubts. Indeed if either side, or China, were to attempt to capture any area of significance on the other side, it will entirely avoid the Saltoro Ridge or the Siachen Glacier. The reality is that the terrain makes it impossible for any troop movement across it in either direction except by small groups of skilled mountaineers. It allows no domination or access to any area near by. In today’s era of continuous aerial or satellite observation deploying on the ridge does not contribute to visual domination. The importance of ‘High Ground’ to military strategy ended soon after the Second World War. Occupying the Saltoro Ridge serves no purpose other than claim occupation of the ridge-line and deny its possession to the other. This may have made some sense in New Delhi decades earlier as a means of preventing silent encroachment through cartographic aggression and denying access to foreign mountaineering expeditions from Pakistan. Today, this reasoning has lost all meaning.

The third myth is about ‘trust’. That it needs a certain level of trust between two sides in order to negotiate and sustain an agreement in this area, and till mutual trust is developed, a solution is not possible. This is a misperception. In a state of relations between India and Pakistan today where both continue to perceive the other as an ‘enemy’, there will be no trust for many years. A solution based on goodwill and trust can never last and must never be the basis for negotiations. An agreement is possible when both sides perceive an advantage in having one and see benefit in adhering to its terms. Penalties for non-observance can be built into the agreement. Or, provisions for punishment can be incorporated or implied in case the other side violates the agreement.

The fourth myth is that occupation of this remote mountain redoubt is relatively cost free. With a burgeoning economy India can easily afford whatever extra expenses are required for this operation and in any case, leakages of developmental expenditures and corruption are much more costly to the nation. But, in reality the cost of maintaining forces in these forbidding mountains has increased substantially over the years. A back of the envelope calculation would suggest that it is in the region of at least USD 750 million a year, depending on what expenses are actually included. For Pakistan it may be about a third of this amount. But, in terms of the percentage of overall GDP it would be about thrice as expensive as for India. Some in India consider this a good enough reason to continue the occupation as it bleeds Pakistan more. That in the end both patients may die does not apparently seem to matter. By all accounts this level of expenditure is better spent elsewhere, rather than in despoiling this pristine environment. Indeed the costs come at the expense of vital socio-economic spending, the absence of which is generating other insecurities in both countries.

The final myth is that if India were to withdraw from the Saltoro Ridge the Pakistan Army will promptly occupy it. The implication then is that the Indian political leadership will immediately ask the Indian Army to recapture the positions. This is seriously underestimating the political leadership, which knows that it has other options than committing soldiers to certain death. In today’s situation punitive actions can take many forms. Should counter measures be warranted they could be considered in another more favourable area, and where costs to the other side are higher. Another countermeasure, the real Kautilyan option, may be for the Indian forces to withdraw from the Saltoro Ridge in such a pre-planned manner as to ensure that Pakistani forces are compelled to occupy it. In which case, Pakistan will be inflicted with enormous financial and military costs for no practical advantage. Indian forces could then deploy short of the formidable Siachen glacier in comparative comfort. The additional costs imposed on Pakistan may perhaps even hasten an economic collapse.

Towards a solution
What then of a solution? Surprisingly, several possible options are available and have been discussed by both sides. In each case, a planned and systematic withdrawal is urgently warranted. The issue on which a solution has been stalled is on the modalities to bring this about. Should present positions be drawn on a map and signed, by one or both countries and/or by international observers/organizations? Should the Line of Control (LoC) be extended first beyond NJ 9842, based on present dispositions on the ground? Should such presence be merely ascertained unilaterally through satellite photographs?

Having done that, the entire area can be entirely vacated and declared a demilitarized zone under international acceptance and satellite supervision. There can be many variations to such an option and numerous options are available. Diplomats and strategists on both sides can use their ingenuity to adopt the least objectionable option. A certain flexibility will be required, based not on trust, but the minimum acceptable position for either side commensurate with its interests.

Another option would be to demilitarize the area and convert it into an international peace park for high altitude environmental exploration. Should this approach be accepted it will not compromise the fundamental interests of either side. Instead it could lead to many positive outcomes. Who knows, we may ultimately even develop mutual trust.

A first step may well be to construct a joint memorial to all the valiant soldiers of both countries who laid down their lives here, including those of the jawans of the Northern Light Infantry.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 19:11 
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These are dated, but provides a glimpse that the effort is not new and the debate has been going on for a while now.

Resolving Siachen - Perspectives from India: Brig (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal

Resolving Siachen Perspectives from Pakistan: Brig (Retd) Asad Hakeem


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 19:33 
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ShauryaT: Do these solutions not depend on 'good faith' from Pakis, and if Pakis renege then 'good faith' that the government of the day will retaliate and not do a run to the UN?

As noted earlier that we have not seen a response to many Paki infractions in recent times. Infosys and other 'bigs' opposed Op. Prakram...so who knows how much support a future govt. will have to take on Pakis if they back off promises.

The need will be to have a binding/auto-response punishment mechanism that cannot be blocked by bhai-chara, aman, economy, west-kya-kahega and other politicial considerations.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 20:04 
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Not sure if posted earlier
PM picks Army chief who will accept Siachen pact

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has put in place the full set of officials who will to support his desire to settle the Siachen dispute with Pakistan in a "Big Bang" visit across the border in a few months. The other dispute on the brink of resolution is Sir Creek. While the two nations have found a solution to Sir Creek, Siachen remains a problem because Indian Army chiefs starting from General A.S. Vaidya and continuing to General V.K. Singh have refused to support what they perceive will be a major concession to Pakistan, as it is India which will have to withdraw.

India occupied the disputed Siachen heights in 1984. Since then Pakistan has been trying to push India back through military force, and has failed. During the last five years, Pakistan has decided that what it could not win by war it can achieve through diplomacy as long as Dr Singh is PM. The Pakistan Army also sees the wisdom of forcing India back from its present line without the cost of conflict. Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh, the new Army chief, is expected to lead the reversal of the Army's position in order to help Dr Singh achieve his dream of leaving a "peace mark" on Indo-Pak relations.

Other key officials such as Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai are already on board, and willing. The PM also has the support of Home Minister P. Chidambaram. Defence Minister A.K. Antony is the only holdout, but could be pacified if Sonia Gandhi agrees to support Dr Singh on his Pak initiative
<snip>

The demilitarisation of Siachen on the basis of ironclad legal commitments by Pakistan, concurrent with an agreed settlement of the Sir Creek issue, is at the core of the PM's peace strategy,
according to officials. They claim that the PM is in favour of "both a Siachen as well as a Sir Creek agreement", and that "these are doable in 2012 itself".

Teams of officials have been put to work on the contours of a possible settlement of these issues in advance of Manmohan Singh's suggested visit to Pakistan late this year. Interestingly, these officials say that "incoming Chief of Army Staff General-designate Bikramjit Singh is expected to take a holistic view of the situation" rather than "the narrow tactical view of some of his predecessors". It is pointed out that the incoming COAS is a protégé of former COAS General V.P. Malik, "who was fully on board Prime Minister Vajpayee's Lahore peace strategy". ......

<snip>

Sceptics, however, point out that retaining the Siachen base is important in the context of the China-Pakistan axis, a point that is disputed by the "peace" camp. An official's response was, "If Siachen were truly of military use in dealing with China, would the US be as insistent as it is in asking India to withdraw from the glacier? After all, the US' focus is on China." He claimed that "the international benefits of a withdrawal from Siachen would be immense, in that India would be shown to be willing to walk the extra mile for peace". ....

<snip>

The expectation in Delhi is that a peace settlement between India and Pakistan would strengthen the civilian leadership vis-à-vis the military, thereby promoting a "culture of peace" in Pakistan. In the weeks ahead, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be devoting increasing attention towards fulfilling his "legacy of peace" with Pakistan, with his proposed Pakistan visit as the "crowning glory" of his legacy, said an official.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 20:17 
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viv wrote:

The need will be to have a binding/auto-response punishment mechanism that cannot be blocked by bhai-chara, aman, economy, west-kya-kahega and other politicial considerations.
Absolutely. Without such an understanding, it is of no use. On the trust issue, what you do is verify and constantly monitor. So, start with the absolute minimum level of trust. I do not think TSPA has capacity or balls to confront and challenge the IA. Look at what they did at Kargil. Sent in resigned folks of NLI in the guise of local boys and disowned them. If they did not have the gumption to confront us in 1998, when arguably we were weak from a decade+ of non-investment, the discrepancy between us and them have expanded exponentially today and this discrepancy will only grow, in the years and decades to come. Example 10 years ago, could not think of dedicate satellites for each of the forces, today we can afford to think of such ventures easily.

My hope is the babus and politicians work double over time, to gain some significant movement in key areas of concern for India. Namely, the Jihadi infrastructure. I also feel that there is as much mistrust on our own polity as with pakistanis. But, even our babus and politicians are getting wiser. All said and done, MMS has not moved an inch, except for platitudes. Let us see.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 20:48 
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Can we define "strategic value"? Which factors constitute a strategic value to a military base on a border of two hostile neighbors? And where exactly Siachen fails to deliver that value and why all the generals for decades fail to realize this "fact" and more that that why IG even ordered to occupy the heights in first place?

Please start from the events unfolded in 1984. If Siachen has no strategic value to India then why did we carry out operation meghdoot and occupy the glacier? Because this is the start of the whole problem isn't it? Otherwise we won't be debating today.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:18 
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Quote:
rime Minister Manmohan Singh has put in place the full set of officials who will to support his desire to settle the Siachen dispute with Pakistan in a "Big Bang" visit across the border in a few months. The other dispute on the brink of resolution is Sir Creek. While the two nations have found a solution to Sir Creek, Siachen remains a problem because Indian Army chiefs starting from General A.S. Vaidya and continuing to General V.K. Singh have refused to support what they perceive will be a major concession to Pakistan, as it is India which will have to withdraw.

:| :|


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:32 
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Abhijitm: If one goes through this entire thread and the archives, I think one will get a good view of the issues and how things originated and the various view points.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:38 
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abhijitm wrote:

Please start from the events unfolded in 1984. If Siachen has no strategic value to India then why did we carry out operation meghdoot and occupy the glacier? Because this is the start of the whole problem isn't it? Otherwise we won't be debating today.


By Lt.Gen S K Sinha qouted earlier.

Quote:
In July 1949, the UN delegation led by Hernando Sampiers from Columbia convened an Indo-Pak conference at Karachi to delineate the ceasefire line in Kashmir. Lt. Gen. Maurice Delvoie of the Belgian Army was the UN military adviser. The Indian delegation led by Gen. Shrinagesh comprised Vishnu Sahay, H.M. Patel, Gen. Thimayya and Gen. Manekshaw as members. Although very junior in rank, I was the secretary of the delegation. The Pakistan delegation, led by Gen. Cawthorn, had two civilian and two Army officers. Gen. Nazir Ahmed and Gen. Sher Khan were its military members. The latter was member-secretary. Today, I am the only surviving person who was present at that conference.
Jawaharlal Nehru held a meeting to brief the Indian delegation. Girija Shankar Bajpai, Nehru’s principal foreign affairs adviser, was also present at the meeting. I took down the salient points of the briefing. The UN Resolution of August 13, 1948, recognised the legality of Kashmir’s accession to India. Pakistan had to withdraw all its forces from Kashmir before plebiscite, while India could retain her forces till plebiscite was complete. The factual position of troops on the day of the ceasefire, i.e. January 1, 1949, was to be the basis for delineating the ceasefire line. India and Pakistan had conflicting claims. As the UN had accepted India’s legal status in Kashmir we should have bid for the no man’s land to be made inclusive to us.


At Karachi, Gen. Delvoie presented a notional line as the basis for discussion. We were horrified to find that this line was almost a complete reproduction of the line claimed by Pakistan. We had a Herculean task contesting against both Gen. Delvoie’s notional line and Pakistan’s claim line. It took us seven days of hectic discussions to delineate an agreed 740 km ceasefire line on a quarter-inch map, from Lalealli in the south to NJ 9842 in the north. By and large, we managed to get an agreement on our claimed line except for minor adjustments. Using the no man’s land argument, we succeeded in getting the 200 square mile Tilel Valley. Pakistan desperately tried for this Valley, eventually bidding for equal share, but failed. The MiniMarg area beyond the ceasefire line but south of the Burzilbai pass was to be kept demilitarised to deny Pakistan infiltration routes into Tilel Valley. No one at that time thought that military operations could take place at the forbidding heights beyond NJ 9842. In any case, the ceasefire line was only something temporary. After plebiscite it would become irrelevant. Thus, we drew a straight line running north from NJ 9842 to the glaciers. It is easy to be wise after the event. It would have been better if the line beyond NJ 4982 had not been left vague. On the basis of the no man’s land argument the entire Siachen glacier should have been made inclusive to India. A straight line north from NJ 9842 makes half the region, including parts of the Saltoro ridge, inclusive to us.


Pakistan soon violated the clause of MiniMarg’s demilitarisation. This was in keeping with Pakistan’s practice of violating all written and verbal agreements, as in the case of the Standstill Agreement in 1947, the Karachi Agreement (ceasefire agreement) of 1949, the Tashkent Agreement of 1966, Simla Accord of 1972, Lahore Declaration of 1999 and the joint statement of 2004 to not allow cross-border terrorism from Pakistan or Pakistan-controlled territory. In view of this, an agreement on Siachen without Pakistan categorically accepting the Actual Ground Position Line, and without a realistic punitive clause, makes little sense.


For nearly half a century till 1984, Siachen had no military presence from either side, not even during the 1965 or 1971 wars. Mountaineering expeditions towards K2, the second highest peak in the world, and other peaks were taking place. From the late 1960s, Pakistan started cartographic aggression by showing Siachen as a Pakistani territory. Some US maps followed suit, favouring a most friendly non-Nato ally. Apart from Siachen providing Pakistan access to Nubra and Shyok Valley, this region also provides access to Gilgit from the illegally gifted Shaksgam Valley by Pakistan to China. There was a sharp increase in foreign mountaineering expeditions into this area from the Pakistan side. Pakistan started giving permits to expeditions to show its administrative control over this region. In 1984, we received confirmed intelligence of the Pakistan Brigade at Skardu commanded by Pervez Musharraf launching a commando operation to occupy the Saltoro ridge. We preempted Pakistan by 48 hours and beat back its attack. The approach to the ridge from the Pakistan side involves a steep climb from 12,000 to 22,000 feet, making defences on the ridge impregnable. Operation Meghdoot conducted on April 13, 1984, in small helicopters, was a most hazardous operation which was successful. In the next nearly 20 years, Pakistan launched four major and several minor attacks till 2004 when a ceasefire came about. As the governor of Kashmir, I visited Saltoro positions in 2004. No doubt living at those forbidding heights is most difficult, but with improved technology for living and excellent medical cover, our casualty figures have not been too high. We have suffered about 1,000 casualties in Siachen since 1984, with a ratio of nine to one of non-battle to battle casualties. Our current casualty figure is about 10 per year. For the Pakistan Army, living at 12,000 feet and repeatedly attacking those dominating defensive positions, the ratio of battle and non-battle casualties is in reverse. I recall that in November 1948 during the battle of Zojila at a height of about 10,000 feet, when we had no snow clothing at all, due to sudden heavy snowfall we suffered 200 cases of frost bite in one night. Many had to be amputated. In the mid ’60s, commanding a battalion at the height of 16,000 feet for two years, I found our casualty figures not much less than now in Siachen as we did not have comparable living facilities or medical cover


If Pakistan wants top demilitarise, let it withdraw all the way to Skardu or beyond. Let its soldiers be not killed by Avalanches and failed attempts to retake 12000 Ft high ridge lines in Siachen which it in any case has never held.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:47 
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ShauryaT..i read the article by the Pakistani Brigadier Asad Hakeem..and it says

that the negotiations will not be hostage to actions by non state actors of both sides

this took my breath away... I need someone to educate me on who are non state actors from India?

The article is total BS ... totally denigrates officers of Indian army and institution of Indian Army. it makes it looks as though Indian Army is calling the shots on the indian side without educating us as to who is calling shots on the Pakistani side? !! can the pakistanis move even 1 inch without the PA's nod?

Giving permissions to mountaineering expeditions does not make Pakistani claim any stronger. The article is so full of factual errors and wrongful analysis.

I totally agree with AbhijitM... what were the strategic consideration in 1984 which triggered siachen in first place? how come the same have ceased to be important in 2012 !! I dont believe how idiotic and incompetent is our Govt. Gosh... I want Gen Hoon to be on the panel discussing this issue :-)


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:53 
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the article also says Pakistan had no intention of occupying the saltoro ridge which is a total lie given that they were frantically buying snowgear in Europe and making preparations which was clear to Indian intelligence. This brigadier is a big time liar !! how come we give so much mileage to PA clowns??

He potrays occupation of Saltoro by IA as mischief and games played by 3 indian army officers..how can this crap be published on this forum beats me or even published in India !!


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:54 
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ShauryaT wrote:
Abhijitm: If one goes through this entire thread and the archives, I think one will get a good view of the issues and how things originated and the various view points.

And after so many pages you are still continuing the debate isn't it? Although not many are buying your or like yours view points.

May I know (from anyone), what strategic option Siachen provides in case of using it as an offensive base, say in case of conflict or another 26/11 etc.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 21:57 
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A bit of Hot News on Siachen
Hot water discovered in Siachen

Quote:
CHANDIGARH: The highest battlefield in the world, Siachen glacier, hides a warming truth, recently discovered. Geologists have discovered hot water from geothermal sources in the glacier which is nearly 15 degrees warm in plunging -40 degree Celsius weather. The hot source has come as a relief in the freezing conditions as it can now be used for growing vegetables, setting up green houses on the glacier besides cutting down heavy reliance on expensive fossil fuels.

The Indian army had outsourced the project of first discovering ground water in Siachen sector as soldiers were being compelled to melt ice from the frozen Siachen river to quench their thirst and for all other purposes. Ritesh Arya, the project director, known for establishing a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, for discovering water sources at highest altitude in Ladakh, told TOI from Leh,"We had drilled holes a decade ago for the army, in coordination with 4 Engineers Corps, to discover underground water sources in Siachen. Last year, we were assigned a task to explore and develop geothermal source in Siachen Base Camp by Indian Army. We explored the site for geothermal development by drilling borewell but it was a tough task especially as it was assigned on' no water, no money' basis."

It took several months before the source of geothermal site was discovered, in October, last year." We wanted to test the source in winters. We finally visited the site on 18 April, 2012 with engineers from 17 Eng Corps and the discovery of geothermal source at base camp was established,"said Dr Arya.

A PU alumnus, Dr Arya, said that the borewells for groundwater in Siachen has been giving 24 hours water even in winters when temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees.
"Though the temperatures of the source are not very high but still the water can be put to good use for developing green houses for growing vegetables, bathing, washing etc. So far the army is relying only on fossil fuels for heating water which is a very expensive proposition at the altitude of 19000 feet," he said.

Raising concern about the shrinking of Siachen glacier the geologist said, "The glacier has receded sharply and we are investigating how much. The glacier should be demilitarized, as the Pakistan army is mooting, and instead it should be developed as a geothermal tourist destination for which it has vast unexplored potential."



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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:12 
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with heat pumps and proper underground heat exchanger piping the temp difference of -40 to +15 can be put to good use for base heating as well


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:16 
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ShauryaT..... I would like to quote a passage from the book "Heights of Madness" by Myra Macdonald which will show how big a liar this Brig Asad Hakeem is !! and what load of cr@p is this article of his. And whats wrong with Gurmeet kanwal to team up with this big time liar and murderer from PA !! baffling.... :cry:

In Pakistan, a detailed plan was worked out and discussed at all levels in Army , including Gen Zia Ul Haq. "There was no doubt in our minds that in summer of 84 both sides would move into that area" Lt Gen Jahan Dad Khan , the former head of PA 10 Corps, had told me in Islamabad. "it was very clear that next summer it would be a question of who reached it first".

Pakistan decided that earliest it could launch an operation was early May....." BY March when i left, the details were still being worked out" Dad Khan said "the instructions were very clear that the commander of NA was to move in May, Air cover would be there, Logistics support would be there".

But Pakistan Intelligence let it down, Defying the weather , IA moved in 2nd week of April.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:18 
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Can all the peace nicks please answer a simple question -- what happens if the PA occupies the Saltoro ridge and actually roll down the Siachen? And before any one tries to say ,"PA cannot occupy the Saltoro" please look at the geography - they have better access to the Siachen if India does not block the passes.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:28 
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ShauryaT wrote:
viv wrote:

The need will be to have a binding/auto-response punishment mechanism that cannot be blocked by bhai-chara, aman, economy, west-kya-kahega and other politicial considerations.
Absolutely. Without such an understanding, it is of no use. On the trust issue, what you do is verify and constantly monitor. So, start with the absolute minimum level of trust. I do not think TSPA has capacity or balls to confront and challenge the IA. Look at what they did at Kargil. Sent in resigned folks of NLI in the guise of local boys and disowned them. If they did not have the gumption to confront us in 1998, when arguably we were weak from a decade+ of non-investment, the discrepancy between us and them have expanded exponentially today and this discrepancy will only grow, in the years and decades to come. Example 10 years ago, could not think of dedicate satellites for each of the forces, today we can afford to think of such ventures easily.

My hope is the babus and politicians work double over time, to gain some significant movement in key areas of concern for India. Namely, the Jihadi infrastructure. I also feel that there is as much mistrust on our own polity as with pakistanis. But, even our babus and politicians are getting wiser. All said and done, MMS has not moved an inch, except for platitudes. Let us see.


But where is the mechanism or proposal for this retaliation other than hope ? The article posted above by Chanakya does'nt foster confidence. The monitoring can be put in place now wherever applicable - China, Paki, BD borders and test it out. That would be a good implementation and progress, and a test case.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:32 
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there is no verifiable and reversible mechanism short of full scale war... this is a non-starter


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:36 
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I think the INC is tired and in Neville Chamberlin mode of "Peace in our times".


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:38 
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zigactly!! hence the need for ' binding, auto-response' unaffected by bhaichara, west kya kahega, aman, 'economy will suffer' or other considerations.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:42 
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How abt IA opening a wellness and spa centre near this new geothermal source of hot water :-) )


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:42 
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manjgu wrote:
the article also says Pakistan had no intention of occupying the saltoro ridge which is a total lie given that they were frantically buying snowgear in Europe and making preparations which was clear to Indian intelligence. This brigadier is a big time liar !! how come we give so much mileage to PA clowns??

He potrays occupation of Saltoro by IA as mischief and games played by 3 indian army officers..how can this crap be published on this forum beats me or even published in India !!
Robert McNamara thought he was fighting in Vietnam for the cause of freedom and stop the communist takeover of Vietnam by China and Russia. Vietnamese were also fighting for their freedom. They thought that the Americans were there to occupy their nation and continue the colonization of the French. The American realized very late that they were in the middle of a civil war. The result was 2.7 million vietnamese and 58,000 Americans dead. My point is, it will not be the first time that everything India says is doubted in Pakistan and vice versa.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 22:44 
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ramana wrote:
I think the INC is tired and in Neville Chamberlin mode of "Peace in our times".
I think they never wanted to take a stand and never did Churchill style. If they had, we would not have Pakistan.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 23:08 
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ShauryaT wrote:
Robert McNamara thought he was fighting in Vietnam for the cause of freedom and stop the communist takeover of Vietnam by China and Russia. Vietnamese were also fighting for their freedom. They thought that the Americans were there to occupy their nation and continue the colonization of the French. The American realized very late that they were in the middle of a civil war. The result was 2.7 million vietnamese and 58,000 Americans dead. My point is, it will not be the first time that everything India says is doubted in Pakistan and vice versa.


That is inappropriate and objectionable comparision. US was fighting on some other soil. Here India is holding on its own soil. Its existential question. I am not sure , what is the Pakistan's proposal on Siachen?? Are they jumping just because some of their soldiers died of Avalanche? SO many Pakis die everyday. They don't care. Why not withdraw all support to State sponsored terrorism and sending non state actors to India. They have become fatter by eating many Dossas sent by Chiddu in the wake of 26/11. Have they responded otherwise? What happened to 816? Masood mian is roaming freely and Pigs deny existence of them and hijackers? What about Dawood? Have we seen Paki response in good faith. They glee at our misery and coward leadership and try to take advantage of desire to make a dent in the History. Same with JLN or Gujral as with AVB with MMS.

Afterall what are we going to lose by retaining Siachen? Expenditure of 3000 cr is nothing. CWG scam by Kalmadi was estimatd at 70000 cr. 2G estimated at 170,000 cr. Many others in the range of 10,000 to 60,000 crs, Mostly with INC goons. And they talk of peace on Siachen where ceasefire is in place since 2004. If Ceasefire is not good enough to maintain status quo , what prevents them from demanding our withdrawal from whole of J&K. Afterall that is where we have longest ceasefire. In fact this whole exercise is but one step in that direction. I think India should ask Pakistan to first abide by UN J&K plebiscite condition to withdraw from whole of J&K
and allow other processes to take place in peacefull and non coercive atmosphere.

I am also not sure as to the role that might be played by Gen BS on this issue and AFSPA. If he goes against the long held wisdom of Indian Army it would only give credence to the CT that the whole drama on age row was to get somehow pliant general fitted in the slot.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 23:19 
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rohitvats wrote:
what happens if the PA occupies the Saltoro ridge and actually roll down the Siachen? .
Two separate things.

If they occupy the ridges that means the detection and monitoring has failed. Next, for them to roll down assumes that the IA has not been able to pin them on the ridges, either because they were sleeping as they were rolling down or did not have tactical plans in place ready for such a venture. In these cases the two forces meet south of NJ 9842, in the Nubra valley or in around SSN assuming IA does not even move into the glacier at all and waits for TSPA to come out...is that that you mean by roll down?

My presumption would be that the IA will do its job of securing the ridges and shall detect the very first signs of a buildup north of NJ 9842. In such a case, our responses should not be limited just to an upfront assault. We should cross the LOC and attain some real objectives missed for whatever reasons in previous opportunities. What escapes me is, why on earth will someone choose such a route of ingress. It is stupid for the IA, PA or the PLA! What can happen and should be accounted for is that if things break down, TSPA will be in an advantageous position to capture the ridges and if that happens, our response options should be non linear.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 23:23 
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I'm actually quite sick and tired of all this talk of "Siachen of no consequence" from Indian peace-nicks.....is there even a single article on these lines from the Pakistan press or any of their think-tanks or ex-army officials? All this talk on the lines of "not a blade of grass grows" is meant only for Indian consumption....no one will loose anything if tomorrow pakees do another Kargil on us.....but this time, they'll not sit on the Saltoro because their claim line makes the entire Siachen as theirs....


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 23:47 
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Just what i heard what we said to them and what they said and will say ( time out on their side ):

1) Some babu on our side made a proposal of withdrawing forces from both side at certain distance from AGPL that's what caused the initial excitement in DDM but distance the forces will withdrawto will vary for us & them since terrain on our side not favorable .Something alike what we did with PRC in 90s but this time there won't be any == distance withdrawal of forces for both sides . Response awaited ie this is what we will discuss for next decade bare minimum in nutshell its what we want to discuess very seriously over butter chicken & naan as upgrade to chai biscuit :rotfl: .
In past when IA did agree to AGPL authentication it was something based on having a reliable surveillance system in place ( we are resonably confident what i understood & then there was issue of troops transport back to posts on short notice depending on air transport but that never happened for Light Helos never came) so its a non starter from IA/MoD pov.

2) Can trust if point 1 accepted by TSPA but what to do with civilian fauj of TSPA ie Jihadis & co. Post Kargil no one believe that they won't try their tactical brilliance and send some salwar clad Jihadi ( on leave fauji) to take Indian post ) . Jihadist's rallies on water a good point. Again no answer from their side.

MMSjee in no mood for Siachen withdrawal but true to his Babu legacy will discuss everything so what will happen is some announcement to discuss the issue & its modalities & u get the issues that will be discussed even Unkil not forcing us if at all .

There was one more proposal of taking one step at a time ie one post at a time don't know how that's possible from our side but that's what they proposed and still proposing but surely someone surely gaining lot of air miles


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PostPosted: 02 May 2012 00:23 
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Hot water discovered in Siachen.

The highest battlefield in the world, Siachen glacier, hides a warming truth, recently discovered. Geologists have discovered hot water from geothermal sources in the glacier which is nearly 15 degrees warm in plunging -40 degree Celsius weather. The hot source has come as a relief in the freezing conditions as it can now be used for growing vegetables, setting up green houses on the glacier besides cutting down heavy reliance on expensive fossil fuels.

The Indian army had outsourced the project of first discovering ground water in Siachen sector as soldiers were being compelled to melt ice from the frozen Siachen river to quench their thirst and for all other purposes. Ritesh Arya, the project director, known for establishing a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, for discovering water sources at highest altitude in Ladakh, told TOI from Leh,"We had drilled holes a decade ago for the army, in coordination with 4 Engineers Corps, to discover underground water sources in Siachen. Last year, we were assigned a task to explore and develop geothermal source in Siachen Base Camp by Indian Army. We explored the site for geothermal development by drilling borewell but it was a tough task especially as it was assigned on' no water, no money' basis."

It took several months before the source of geothermal site was discovered, in October, last year." We wanted to test the source in winters. We finally visited the site on 18 April, 2012 with engineers from 17 Eng Corps and the discovery of geothermal source at base camp was established,"said Dr Arya.

A PU alumnus, Dr Arya, said that the borewells for groundwater in Siachen has been giving 24 hours water even in winters when temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees. "Though the temperatures of the source are not very high but still the water can be put to good use for developing green houses for growing vegetables, bathing, washing etc. So far the army is relying only on fossil fuels for heating water which is a very expensive proposition at the altitude of 19000 feet," he said.

Raising concern about the shrinking of Siachen glacier the geologist said, "The glacier has receded sharply and we are investigating how much. The glacier should be demilitarized, as the Pakistan army is mooting and instead it should be developed as a geothermal tourist destination for which it has vast unexplored potential."


Last edited by Vipul on 02 May 2012 00:26, edited 1 time in total.

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