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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 21:14 
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^^ How does the Indian system aid and abett


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 21:36 
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not related to the thread but an article which summarises the blunders committed by successive indian govts and pakistan's commitments and their action. just posting in the light of the heated dicussion on siachen withdrawl or disengagement.

Seven blunders that will haunt India for posterity

should we be repeating the same again??


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 21:52 
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abhijitm wrote:
sudeepj wrote:
Aha! thank you for conceding that Siachen has no economic/cultural/political significance, and that there is a cost to continuing operations there. :D

You are a first class troll who is consuming bandwidth making ridiculous arguments and making others to take the bait.


As opposed to you, who is only a third class troll? I simply hold a different opinion and a different methodology than you, I really cant help it if it bothers you so much.


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 22:02 
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Marten wrote:
sudeepj wrote:
Marten, you have used so many adjectives in your post, that its difficult to take it seriously. I mean "Sanctimonious, critical, stinks like a horses ass, verbosity, abro, BS".. I guessed you were just venting because something I said made you uncomfortable. I really cant help that..

I guess the only part of "buttress your argument" that you got was "butt". Congratulations, you've earned your epithets.
So much for your comprehension.


Rite, somewhere in the horses behind was a stuck a request to "buttress your argument". Honestly speaking, if you say to someone, (paraphrasing) "despite your sanctimoniousness and your verbosity and your aggression, your argument stinks like a horses rear end, and your argument is based on BS, and oh btw. you are forgetting our recent experiences with Pakistan".

Do you expect me to address your argument or get distracted by the adjectives? I am having a fairly decent, and at least to me, fruitful conversation with Ashutosh, Rohit and others, but what do you expect when you start of the bat with a bouncer like that?


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 22:05 
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Aditya_V wrote:
Gyong La was fiercely contested in 1987 and after a flag meeting was agreed both Army's will descalate, but as usual PA stabbed IA in the back.


Any references/links to the story?

Thanks
Sudeep


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 22:47 
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A request to all, including rohitvats - who are trying to put up counterarguments to disengaging from Siachen by GOI/IA, please think before you post concrete pointers based on on-ground data. The IA has relevant sections, and there are sufficient number of structures within the establishment - who will have all the details ready in case the appeasers make a move. Its no longer 62, or even 71 - as far as internal political resistance against assorted aman-ki-ashaists thrown at them by civilian politics.

Please do not be specific. Posture of "onlee trying to learn" is a standard trick. It is not about the details of strength or potential - which are known anyway by the externals. It is about how such information can be used to project a particular case for manipulating public opinion in overt democracies. That in turn can help the external agenda by putting pressure on or supporting the agenda of - elements coming in from civilian politics into a ruling regime, or ex-military personnel with some degree of confusion over the nation's long term goals. Their very success and reputation in one professional branch may lead them to self-delusion that their understanding on other issues might also be divine. These are all useful fools in the hand of those who are always hell bent on limiting India's reach - especially in those terms which they understand very well - geo-political power projection aka imperialism.

Our goal is nothing short of recovering everything that territorially corresponds to the state of J&K under full Indian sovereignty. We want full sovereignty right upto Afghan border. Whether we do it unobtrusively or blatantly is our business. Dharma is about holding together society as well as Arya-karan or civilizing of that which is yet uncivilized. For those two goals, kutaneeti or what appears to be unprincipled behaviour is perfectly within Indian political vision for the comprehensive long term protection and expansion of our society.

We should not help in any way those who have set themselves against this vision by providing them details on which their think tanks can chew on, twist, and misrepresent as part of their public campaign propaganda material.


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 23:08 
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I think Rohit is doing a marvellous job here, and I do not see what purpose would be served by witholding details that parties on all sides are very well aware of. All that will happen is that the arguments for retaining control over the enrire area will get drowned out in a Goebellsian "Siachen has no strategic importance" refrain.

Just a couple of points that have not been brought up already:

For those really interested in learning about what can happen in a glaciated area, please study the operations in the glaciated Kaksar area during the Kargil war. Also study the amount of trouble caused by one heavy mortar position that was established by the infiltrators (I forget the location, but I recollect reading about it in "A Ridge too Far".

Second, if Rohit were to enlarge his map only marginally, there might be a small, barely populated village called Thoise that might show up.


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 23:25 
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We are the status quoist here. So its the other sides job to say why we should not do what

Let the other side prove with 1000% certainity while we find wrongs there. And as of now they proved sh*t. Remember sudeepj was ready to offer to Pakistan even the upper nubra valley & then changed tacks when shown that the upper valley starts right from Dzringulma. He started with opinions not facts. His is a search for getting his opinion to win, not searching for truth. The least we can do to help him is to actually not help him


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 23:40 
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sudeepj wrote:
Rite, somewhere in the horses behind was a stuck a request to "buttress your argument". Honestly speaking, if you say to someone, (paraphrasing) "despite your sanctimoniousness and your verbosity and your aggression, your argument stinks like a horses rear end, and your argument is based on BS, and oh btw. you are forgetting our recent experiences with Pakistan".

Do you expect me to address your argument or get distracted by the adjectives? I am having a fairly decent, and at least to me, fruitful conversation with Ashutosh, Rohit and others, but what do you expect when you start of the bat with a bouncer like that?

Sorry, you're not at all being decent or to the point (other than some googled-babble, what with your statement about someone having drunk too much bhaang. Point is your opinion is what you have, and everything else is based on pure fartology. How you deal with adjectives are your problem, as it is, you're the one creating the suitability for these. Have you considered the entire deception of Kargil at all or are there too many adjectives here affecting your comprehension?


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 23:52 
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Y I Patel wrote:
I think Rohit is doing a marvellous job here, and I do not see what purpose would be served by witholding details that parties on all sides are very well aware of. All that will happen is that the arguments for retaining control over the enrire area will get drowned out in a Goebellsian "Siachen has no strategic importance" refrain.

Just a couple of points that have not been brought up already:

For those really interested in learning about what can happen in a glaciated area, please study the operations in the glaciated Kaksar area during the Kargil war. Also study the amount of trouble caused by one heavy mortar position that was established by the infiltrators (I forget the location, but I recollect reading about it in "A Ridge too Far".


I was in my early twenties at the time of Kargil, so for my political consciousness, it was a formative event. On the one hand we had the avuncular Atal ji trying his best to make peace in Lahore, and at the same time Musharraf (the butcher of Kargil) was preparing this senseless, illegal little war.

I read through pretty much whatever I could get my hands on about the incursions, and the battles to throw them out. Here is the thing though, I always understood, that the Kargil ridges, which were conquered by us in the 1971 war, were strategic because of the proximity of the Leh-Srinagar highway, and because the intruders were able to bring down direct and indirect fire upon the highway, and thus disrupt the 'winter stocking' that went on. With the logistics to Ladakh disrupted, the PA could then hope to outshoot the Indian Army in Siachen, and also, make life very difficult for soldiers/civilians in Ladakh.

Other than this, the heights themselves held no particular value. If the IA had an alternate all weather route to Ladakh, (which I think is under construction now, thereby removing the shallow depth of our lines of communication in the Kargil sector) I doubt that the reaction would have been as fierce.

Quote:
Second, if Rohit were to enlarge his map only marginally, there might be a small, barely populated village called Thoise that might show up.


FWIW, I have placed markers of interest on a Google Earth Siachen map. Its quite detailed, showing the different passes, ridges, very rough AGPL. Perhaps it may be of interest to you..

Siachen Map


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 23:55 
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sudeepj,

Have to agree with brihaspati. You have to see Siachen in the larger perspective.


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PostPosted: 04 May 2012 23:57 
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Sudeepj: Enemy guns on those ridges would not matter all all..would they?


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:01 
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There need be no rational argument for occupying Indian territory other than it is Indian, period. We need a discussion on how to occupy rest of POK, not whether we should continue to occupy one part of it.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:10 
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Marten wrote:
sudeepj wrote:
Rite, somewhere in the horses behind was a stuck a request to "buttress your argument". Honestly speaking, if you say to someone, (paraphrasing) "despite your sanctimoniousness and your verbosity and your aggression, your argument stinks like a horses rear end, and your argument is based on BS, and oh btw. you are forgetting our recent experiences with Pakistan".

Do you expect me to address your argument or get distracted by the adjectives? I am having a fairly decent, and at least to me, fruitful conversation with Ashutosh, Rohit and others, but what do you expect when you start of the bat with a bouncer like that?


Sorry, you're not at all being decent or to the point (other than some googled-babble, what with your statement about someone having drunk too much bhaang.


But Marten ji, look at the provocation, the threat, that when "we" come to power, "we" will prosecute people who disagree with a particular opinion, with the rider, that past service record will not be considered.. In my books this was pompous, totally loony and frankly, very disrespectful of people who have dedicated their lives to the nation..

Quote:
Point is your opinion is what you have, and everything else is based on pure fartology. How you deal with adjectives are your problem, as it is, you're the one creating the suitability for these.


Thats your opinion and you are entitled to it.. But if you start off a conversation saying, your opinion is fartology, how do you expect to carry it forward in a civil way?

Quote:
Have you considered the entire deception of Kargil at all or are there too many adjectives here affecting your comprehension?


Simply because I havent posted about the Kargil incursion, does not mean that I have no opinion about it! Yes, Kargil and then 26/11 have caused Pakistanis to look very untrustworthy. Its fragmented polity, with each stakeholder untrustworthy in his/her own way. Its an Islamist society, with a large number holding on to unreal world views. Itll have to jump through hoops, perhaps give over "Indian" mujahedin assets or the NE rebels (or something else, insert your own favorite concession), to make the stakeholders in the GoI trust them enough to disengage from a militarily strong/well near unassailable position like the Saltoro ridge.

*But* none of this impacts on
1. A discussion on how Saltoro positions are strategic in nature/Or the strategic prominence of Siachen is an invention.
2. A larger framework in which to decide, which territorial wars/limited engagements are worth fighting, and which are not.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:14 
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viv wrote:
Sudeepj: Enemy guns on those ridges would not matter all all..would they?


Are you talking about the Kargil ridges?

If the Leh-Srinagar highway was not the only highway connecting Leh to Srinagar, what would they achieve by being there? Their lines of comm. were quite stretched in some places. At most they would be able to shell some villages along the highway.

We would probably pay them 4 times over in Neelam valley or some other area advantageous to us. After a while, Pakistanis would request a flag meeting, and agree to withdraw..

It was only because of the highway that uphill battles had to fought..


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:15 
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Virupaksha wrote:
We are the status quoist here. So its the other sides job to say why we should not do what

Let the other side prove with 1000% certainity while we find wrongs there. And as of now they proved sh*t. Remember sudeepj was ready to offer to Pakistan even the upper nubra valley & then changed tacks when shown that the upper valley starts right from Dzringulma. He started with opinions not facts. His is a search for getting his opinion to win, not searching for truth. The least we can do to help him is to actually not help him


No, I simply pointed out that loosing the Glacier does not automatically mean loosing upper Nubra valley. Rest is your own extrapolation.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:22 
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^^^ Every bit of Indian land is valuable. This very mercantile attitude towards nation is destroying it. Current government represents this mercantilism


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:43 
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No change in India's stand on Siachen: Officials
Quote:
Indian officials involved in the Siachen negotiations stressed that there has been no change in India's position. India wants both countries to authenticate their current positions on the AGPL (actual ground position line). This would establish the respective positions of the two armies. This is necessary because of a prevalent trust deficit on both sides. India says demilitarization or withdrawal of its troops from the heights of Saltoro Ridge can only happen afterwards. India continues to maintain this position, say sources.

"Authentication" is when each country signs off on their respective position. "Demarcation" is an agreed border which is first "delineated" on the map and then marked on the ground.

The truth is, as General VR Raghavan, former DGMO, says, Pakistan does not occupy the Siachen glacier. Their positions are much lower down the mountainside. Pakistan has been reluctant to authenticate its positions because it would reveal that Pakistan does not actually sit on the glacier. Indian troops occupy the watershed heights which is the reason for India's insistence on authentication.


Besides, given the history of Pakistan army trying to find ways change the ground position in Siachen, most recently during the Kargil conflict in 1999, the Indian army is wary of Pakistani suggestion of demilitarization.

Former secretary in MEA, Vivek Katju says, "It (withdrawal) will have major political and strategic implications."


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:49 
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The MoD stand has been: Demilitarization could be an option on the table. Only AFTER Pakistan agrees to the demarcation of the line of control. Kudos to those that are making sure this is not forgotten.

This will not stop the pigs from crawling back up the ridges, onto areas from where supply lines can be cut. In any case, maintaining control of land is the primary objective. Those that do not understand this, can try and google up China's sneaking acquisition theory being implemented across Indian borders. Those that maintain boots on the ground, retain control to vital posts. Once you allow a "non-vital" post to slip away, you encourage your neighbours to get more adventurous. Wonder why so many lessons from the past are forgotten?

Sudeepj, about your question on whether the highways can be affected by shelling - search for posts by RayC on this. Read some of it, and let us know how these affect your opinion. btw, when you posted a clip from Malhotra's book, did you consider there could be Brigade Commanders on this forum who would have posted their insights?

PS: I'm afraid all the tricks played by media and pliant parties typically fail when any encroachment on our borders is discovered. The current theory being applied is to soften that reaction with "not a blade of grass grows there".


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:53 
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Check this out - scary Manmohan Singh govt.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/92357649/Kash ... -Diplomacy

If this government is not watched they may sell everything away


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 00:57 
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sudeepj,
All your scenarios are based on a premise that any action by the Pakis will happen only during peacetime. That need not be so. How would having a Kargil with China east of the area in interest change things ? Would it be possible for Pakistan to make a grab for land then if they controlled the passes on Saltoro ?
One more thing. Once we lose any land to China, the only way we can get it back is by evicting them.

P.S. I remain unconvinced about your argument, but would like to hear everything that you/shauryat/rohitvats/yipatel have to say. I'd like for the conversation to continue.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 01:00 
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Marten wrote:
The MoD stand has been: Demilitarization could be an option on the table. Only AFTER Pakistan agrees to the demarcation of the line of control. Kudos to those that are making sure this is not forgotten.


Which is actually what I have also been saying, no Disengagement without demarcation.

Marten wrote:
Sudeepj, about your question on whether the highways can be affected by shelling - search for posts by RayC on this. Read some of it, and let us know how these affect your opinion.


Quite right, highways can be disrupted by observed/corrected indirect shelling. Or even a very large amount of indiscriminate shelling. But if we had an alternate route to Leh from Srinagar, that was not visible from the Kargil ridges, we would not go up the ridges against those odds. We would probably have chosen to pay back the Paks many times over in the same coin, in a different area of our advantage. Here, we had no choice but to go up the ridges, as the highway traffic was disrupted by the shelling.

Marten wrote:
btw, when you posted a clip from Malhotra's book, did you consider there could be Brigade Commanders on this forum who would have posted their insights?


Yes, RayC used to be a member. He was banned. I wonder why.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 01:49 
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any treaty with pakis == cheap toilet paper. takiya by sino-pak combine to shaft us soonest.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 02:16 
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Singha wrote:
any treaty with pakis == cheap toilet paper.

And despite the pakis repeatedly validating this, we have people here who want to trust and believe them.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 03:18 
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Let us just hear what the other side is thinking. Let us keep our on-ground arguments to ourselves. The Good Friday circle is quite active. Those who want to stay put on the glacier have their own arguments. By countering the Good Fridayers we are showing how we think about the whole issue which in turn is analyzed in a very systematic way to draft responses that may work on wider opinions.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 03:21 
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PM MMS' Siachen mistake will be similar to Haji Pir by LBS . Paki dont deserve our magnanimity. Let them earn our trust and them we can talk of providing them comfort by removing their doubts regarding our intentions.
First the trust deficit has to be removed by Poaqi good behavior for the next 20 years.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 03:28 
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Since, only those military voices are quoted here who seem to support "withdrawal", it might have been done deliberately to create the impression that IA is itself hesitant. Here is a contrary voice :

Srinagar, April 28, 2012 | UPDATED 12:15 IST
Siachen hero against troop pullout from glacier
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/siachen-hero-against-troop-pullout-from-glacier/1/186459.html


Quote:
Captain Bana Singh, who led the charge against the Pakistani incursion at Siachen Glacier's highest post in June 1987, is of the view that the world's highest battleground should not be demilitarised.

The intrusion had taken place at a height of 6,500 metres - the highest point on the glacier - and this peak was renamed Bana Top in the braveheart's honour.

"Thousands of people have lost their lives fighting for Siachen. This (the regaining of territory after numerous supreme sacrifices) does not happen in a day. It would not be good to demilitarise Siachen. But the government will take the final call," the armyman, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra on January 26, 1988, for his act of exceptional bravery, said.

"Demilitarisation is a long process. The government needs to carefully assess what is right and what is wrong. We should guard against a Kargil-like situation where we vacated the posts and they (Pakistan) came and occupied them," the honorary Captain pointed out.

At the same time, he maintained that the government must take all shades of opinion into consideration before arriving at any conclusion. "My personal view, however, is that the glacier should not be demilitarised," he reiterated. He conceded that the economic cost of troop deployment at Siachen was astronomical. But he said: "It is for the higher authorities - the ministers sitting in Delhi - to see how expenditure can be curtailed."

Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who visited Skardu after the recent avalanche that killed over 130 military personnel of the country, had recently expressed the hope that the Siachen issue would be "resolved so that both countries don't have to pay the cost".

General Kayani had said: "There will be a resolution and we want that there should be a resolution (of the Siachen issue). In fact, other issues must also be resolved."

Though his statement was considered significant and a climbdown of sorts from Pakistan's hawkish stance on the issue, it failed to impress Captain Singh. The latter believed that General Kayani had not taken everyone on board before making the demilitarisation offer.




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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 03:37 
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Another Indian ex-military voice :
http://www.claws.in/index.php?action=master&task=1119&u_id=183

Not about Siachen
Prakash Katoch
Quote:
The Line of Control between India and Pakistan was originally drawn on a 1:250,000 map with a thick sketch pen that left a variation of hundred plus metres at any given point besides not always following ridgelines – a source of constant acrimony. Then was the naiveté of not drawing any line beyond NJ 9842 that in 1984 led to the discovery of Pakistan creeping up the Saltoro Ridge, followed by its preemptive third dimension occupation by India. The Siachen issue is not about Siachen Glacier but the Saltoro Massif. Strategic significance of the latter can hardly be gauged by armchair warriors.

Before the euphoria for demilitarization of Siachen grips the country with visions of a peace prize and another ‘landmark’ agreement before the next general elections in 2014 eggs us to draw another foolish line on the map, there is need for serious strategic introspection – ‘paid’ media hollering to ignore military advice notwithstanding. Major fallouts of hurried demilitarization of Siachen are as under:

• Widening the China-Pakistan handshake (collusive threat) to include Gilgit-Baltistan (reportedly being leased out by Pakistan to China for 50 years), Shaksgam Valley (already ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963), Saltoro-Siachen region (that Pakistan may reoccupy through “Kashmiri Freedom Fighters” or cede to China), own Sub Sector North (SSN) east of Siachen with Chinese sitting on the northern slopes of the Karakoram Pass if not on top of it already, and Aksai Chin already under Chinese occupation.

• SSN and Eastern Ladakh will become focused objectives of Chinese strategic acupuncture. Defence potential of SSN will be totally degraded with western flank exposed and KK Pass to north, which India stopped patrolling years back for fear of annoying the dragon. We continue to remain thin in Eastern Ladakh against Chinese threat via Aksai Chin – heightened more now with possibility of two front war.

• Our next line of defence will perforce base on Ladakh Range with possibility of Leh coming within enemy artillery range.

• Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges will be targeted for terrorism by ISI nurtured groups while Pakistan will say they are ‘out of control’. ISI has been nurturing Shia terrorist outfits with an eye on Ladakh since late 1990s.

The recent media frenzy has exposed the citizenry to the arms lobbies, which may be the tip of the iceberg but what about global games being played by countries whose economies are largely based on weapon exports. Look at the manner in which India and Korea were partitioned – recipe for centuries of strife. Look at the deceit by the British in forcing Skardu into Pakistan’s lap. Look at the aftermath of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria – heightened conflict and who makes the moolah through arms sales, oil, re-construction and power? Why are the Ottawa University, the Atlantic Council and the National Defense University, Washington not discussing a ‘Peace Park’ astride the Durand Line? Will demilitarization of Siachen increase the chances / avenues of conflict between China-Pakistan and India?

Protagonists of total demilitarization from Siachen with suggestions to keep reserves ready for offensive action in case of double cross need to answer the following:

• If the whole exercise is based on trusting Pakistan, what exactly has Pakistan done to earn that trust? Has the anti-India terrorist infrastructure including 40 terrorist training camps in POK been dismantled? Has ‘any’ progress been made in punishing the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks?

• How will Ladakh be defended post de-militarization?

• What force levels we will need to hold ground - mainly along the Ladakh range? On face value ‘many more times’ the current strength north of Khardung La will be required – remember while one brigade was deployed in Kargil earlier, post 1999, the same area is held by a division with nine battalions deployed on the LC and additional troops required during summer months to check infiltration.

• Where and in what quantum will reserves for Saltoro Ridge locate, how will they be acclimatized, time frame for launch and what is our capability to launch them at those heights on a ridge already occupied?

• What troops will we need to counter infiltration and possible terrorist influx into Ladakh? Even requirement of placing reserves on the Zanskar Ranges will need examination.

• Expenditure on establishing next defence line post-demilitarization; posts, bunkers, gun positions, helipads, administrative echelons, new communications infrastructure with increased quantum of troops, time frame, tenability, maintenance and recurring expenses.

• Effect of demilitarization on population in the area, especially the Nubra and Shyok Valleys considering army provides livelihood to most.

Nawaz Sharif’s call for Pakistan to take the lead and withdraw troops from Siachen glacier is nothing more than a political statement and Kayani’s call to resolve the dispute saying his country follows “the doctrine of peaceful co-existence with its neighbours especially India”, words of a sly fox. Without remorse for her dead during the Kargil conflict, Kayani is capitalizing recent loss of soldiers in an avalanche to rake up demilitarization because:

• Pakistan is at great disadvantage vis-à-vis India at the Saltoro Ridge with Pakistan holding Gyong and Bilafond glaciers on lower ground to the West.

• The situation in Gilgit-Baltistan is becoming explosive due to neglect of Shia dominated areas, enforced demographic changes, subtle but deliberate conversions to Sunni form of Islam and state sponsored Shia massacres. Any outbreak of insurgency will adversely affect communications to Siachen.

• In conjunction Shaksgam Valley, ceding Gilgit-Baltistan region to China for 50 years (reported by USA’s Middle East Media Research Institute) can extend to Siachen-Saltoro through to Aksai Chin, forcing Indian defences south and increasing the vulnerability of Ladakh region.

• Demilitarization will open avenues of infiltration and terrorism into Ladakh. Since late 1990s, Pakistan’s ISI has been nurturing Shia terrorist organizations including Tehreek-e-Jaferia (TJP) and its many sub groups with an eye on Ladakh and Zanskar Range south of it.

To say that Pakistan will be in no position to re-occupy Siachen is foolish. Even while Indian troops were deployed at Saltoro, the Kargil intrusions were never visualized on plea that terrain was not negotiable. Additionally, in 1984, when both India and Pakistan rushed for Gyong La, an agreement was reached following a flag meeting for both parties to withdraw. Indians did, but the Pakistanis re-enacted their back-stabbing legacy and occupied the pass in clear violation of the agreement made hours ago.

Compared to Saltoro Ridge, we have many times more troops deployed on Ladakh and Pir Panjal ranges in Kashmir, some of them holding equally, if not more, tenacious posts including some in glaciated terrain. Equally dangerous avalanches occur periodically in such areas resulting in loss of lives. Yet, there have been units who have done a full tenure in Siachen without losing a single man to weather and terrain. Yoga and religiously following pre-induction training saves precious lives.

Lack of strategic forethought and political unilateralism has been typical to India ever since Independence. More significantly, ambiguity and deceit have been the hallmarks of China and Pakistan. Ask yourself have they ever bothered about world opinion? Will their expanding nexus and US pullout from Afghanistan, not make Pakistan more uppity? India would do well not to look at Siachen in isolation. In case of Siachen, first the AGPL and posts held by both sides must be duly delineated on ground and map. We need dispassionate analysis of all issues mentioned above before taking any step towards demilitarization.

Lt Gen PC Katoch is a Special Forces veteran who has commanded the Siachen Brigade

Views expressed are personal


I am sure the Good Fridayers will try to ignore all of the authors post until they come to the single sentence on AGPL. But here is an IA voice that is unambiguous about the reasons and importance of holding on to the ridge.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 04:01 
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People can search for who are raising their voices for Indian "withdrawal". There will be a common spectrum of logic, tone, and even turn of expression. Think why Christian Science Monitor might allow Saira Yamin to post the following from Honolulu :

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/0425/How-a-glacier-could-thaw-dangerous-India-and-Pakistan-freeze


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 04:12 
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brihaspati wrote:
People can search for who are raising their voices for Indian "withdrawal". There will be a common spectrum of logic, tone, and even turn of expression. Think why Christian Science Monitor might allow Saira Yamin to post the following from Honolulu :

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/0425/How-a-glacier-could-thaw-dangerous-India-and-Pakistan-freeze


There was a similar article (different author) in the Washington Post this week.
Here is the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asi ... story.html


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 04:25 
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sudeepj wrote:
Rahul M wrote:
sudeepj, why don't you make up a list of all uninhabited areas of India and petition GOI for gifting them to our lovely neighbours to prove our peaceful intentions ?

by the logic you used about akshai chin, that govt didn't know of the chinese building a road there, similar thing happened in abujhmad. that means it's not a part of India and should belong to naxals in perpetuity, correct ?


Look, I put forward 5 criteria to decide whether its worth fighting a war over some territory that we claim.
(in no particular order)

1. Strategic Significance. [Can loss/gain of the territory affect our posture in other areas]
2. Economic Interests. [Can the loss/gain of the territory cause economic damage to the nation]
3. Cultural Interests. [Is the territory deeply woven into the cultural fabric of the nation]
4. Costs of Sustaining Operations in men and money. [Are the costs of sustaining operations too high? (Too: subjective here)]
5. Political Interests. [Will the loss/gain of the territory affect our internal politics? Will it change our external political situation?]

For something like Abujmad, or Andman and Nicobar islands, the answers are Yes to all five questions. For Siachen, in my opinion, the answers are No to (2, 3, 4, 5) and Generals and soldiers differ on 1. I am tending towards Gen. Chibber's position and not Gen. Hoon's.

If you have a better system of evaluating questions such as these, please post it in the forum, and we will all know more.. For e.g. many have the idea, that our land is our land, and that is their system.. Which is fine with me! Who am I to tell them how they should develop their positions.. Its like religion really, to me this makes sense. To you something else makes sense.. To each his own.


The Government of India is required to defend all territory that belongs to the Republic of India even if it has
1. No strategic value
2. No economic value
3. No cultural/social value
4. No political value

The only relevant criteria is the cost (human and financial) of defending such territory. The human and financial cost of defending Siachen is high but bearable. Successive governments have invested in equipment, etc to improve conditions for the men deployed to defend Siachen. In my view, additional expenditure is required to further improve the living conditions of the soldiers defending Siachen. Our country can more than afford it.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 04:27 
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Look at the arguments Eurasia Review hosts from Dipankar Bannerjee :
http://www.eurasiareview.com/26042012-resolving-the-siachen-dispute-analysis/
Quote:
He or any other Pakistani General is not known to have made any such statement in the past and this should be acknowledged as a major departure. For India not to respond will make it appear churlish. It will also heighten Pakistan’s belief in India’s intransigence.


Note the stirrings of why India should not appear "unprincipled".

The next highlighted lines should make the arguments and their motivations obvious.

Quote:
The time has come to seize the moment and respond positively. India should also recognize the stirrings of change in Islamabad in recent months regarding its relations with India. Resolving Siachen will not remove all obstacles to better relations between the two countries. But, it has the potential to be the first useful step allowing positive developments in other areas. The possibilities of greater trade, dealing cooperatively with a post 2014 Afghanistan, and the larger vision of a Southern Asian Silk Route or a revived Grand Trunk Road bring enticing new possibilities. This has genuine win-win potential for both countries rather than the normal zero-sum approach of the past.
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.



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.


Solution - yes !

Quote:
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: 05 May 2012 04:38 
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The agenda is clear. I am thinking the political leadership in India (MMS Inc) is on board as well. What remains is the Indian public opinion and Indian Army and therefore the need for such news articles.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 04:46 
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sudeepj wrote:
Rahul M wrote:
sudeepj, why don't you make up a list of all uninhabited areas of India and petition GOI for gifting them to our lovely neighbours to prove our peaceful intentions ?

by the logic you used about akshai chin, that govt didn't know of the chinese building a road there, similar thing happened in abujhmad. that means it's not a part of India and should belong to naxals in perpetuity, correct ?


Look, I put forward 5 criteria to decide whether its worth fighting a war over some territory that we claim.
(in no particular order)

1. Strategic Significance. [Can loss/gain of the territory affect our posture in other areas]
2. Economic Interests. [Can the loss/gain of the territory cause economic damage to the nation]
3. Cultural Interests. [Is the territory deeply woven into the cultural fabric of the nation]
4. Costs of Sustaining Operations in men and money. [Are the costs of sustaining operations too high? (Too: subjective here)]
5. Political Interests. [Will the loss/gain of the territory affect our internal politics? Will it change our external political situation?]

For something like Abujmad, or Andman and Nicobar islands, the answers are Yes to all five questions. For Siachen, in my opinion, the answers are No to (2, 3, 4, 5) and Generals and soldiers differ on 1. I am tending towards Gen. Chibber's position and not Gen. Hoon's.

If you have a better system of evaluating questions such as these, please post it in the forum, and we will all know more.. For e.g. many have the idea, that our land is our land, and that is their system.. Which is fine with me! Who am I to tell them how they should develop their positions.. Its like religion really, to me this makes sense. To you something else makes sense.. To each his own.


eklavya wrote:
The Government of India is required to defend all territory that belongs to the Republic of India even if it has
1. No strategic value
2. No economic value
3. No cultural/social value
4. No political value

The only relevant criteria is the cost (human and financial) of defending such territory. The human and financial cost of defending Siachen is high but bearable. Successive governments have invested in equipment, etc to improve conditions for the men deployed to defend Siachen. In my view, additional expenditure is required to further improve the living conditions of the soldiers defending Siachen. Our country can more than afford it.


Eklavya, once you identify the human/financial cost of defending a territory, how do you decide whether its too high or its bearable? For e.g. someone said per capita basis. On a per capita basis, even 100 or 200,000 deaths and $2 billion an year, will be a tiny number for a country and economy the size of India. But are the advantages accruing to us equal or even comparable to our sacrifice?

Therefore, I feel that you must also look at (1,2,3,4) to decide whether the human/financial costs are too high. To be sure, defending even completely barren land has political value, in showing a commitment to preserve boundaries, signalling to the external world, signalling to domestic insurgencies and so on.. Different people will have different answers to each of the five questions, perhaps the only *quantifiable/factual* answers may be for 5. Even for things such as economic and cultural value, answers will differ depending on perspectives.

Anyway, this is just one way to looking at it.. there are others equally valid or even better, I am sure.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 05:01 
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sudeep,

I don't think you understand. Siachen is as important to defend as New Delhi. What India can bear to defend New Delhi, India can bear to defend Siachen.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 05:14 
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eklavya wrote:
sudeep,

I don't think you understand. Siachen is as important to defend as New Delhi. What India can bear to defend New Delhi, India can bear to defend Siachen.


I guess here our perceptions differ. To me, if Siachen is as important as Delhi, so is Aksai Chin (even though its militarily indefensible), so is PoK and so are the border disputes in Arunachal.. Merely the fact that they are under adverse occupation should not change their importance. Why dont we take them back? If Delhi was under adverse occupation, we would not rest till its taken back. But we have only paid lip services to taking back AksaiChin/PoK/...

Secondly, I think while this maximalist position has a place in negotiation and arises from patriotism in the general populace, it will lead down a path of perpetual conflict and war. The other nation feels it has a claim, and in many cases is in possession of the land, to not negotiate will mean either cold or hot war.. with simmering insurgencies...


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 05:26 
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rohitvats wrote:
Quote:
Gyong La is in Indian hands according to wiki.

^^^It is in PA hands.

Are you sure? I can't seem to find any info on the net about the three passes (Bilafond La, Sia La and Gyong La) except on Wiki. And wiki says that all three passes are held by India since 1984. There is a Gyong glacier as well, if I'm not mistaken to the west of the pass. The Glacier is in paki hands.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 05:56 
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Just don't touch the Paki's now, by giving concessions on anything including Siachen. Its foolish to bank roll them now and get stabbed in the back. If they are so unbearable about the spending costs in Siachen, ask them to hand over and run, by signing a strategic agreement treaty of non-aggression for 10 years.
We gave away Katchathivu a small island in south of India to Sri Lanka and till day, Indian fishermen are suffering from gun shots by SL Navy. God knows how many hundreds of fishermen s died so far, fishing in their legitimate land which was given away as an act of non-existing friend ships.

India should learn from its own history. Keep mouth Shut and just talk about business and nothing else.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 07:01 
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brihaspati wrote:
Let us just hear what the other side is thinking. Let us keep our on-ground arguments to ourselves. The Good Friday circle is quite active. Those who want to stay put on the glacier have their own arguments. By countering the Good Fridayers we are showing how we think about the whole issue which in turn is analyzed in a very systematic way to draft responses that may work on wider opinions.



Good point -- same strategy adopted by evangelists


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012 07:03 
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edited


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