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PostPosted: 04 Feb 2004 23:54 
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For every poison there's an antidote - in the current situation, our ability to see them and hit them hard is our best form of defense. Ultimately it all boils down to the fact that we are there, they aren't. And that makes all the difference.


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2004 00:11 
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The pipeline is upto Kumar. I would assume so would the cable.

The cable base stations could be hit. recall that some years ago the Siachen base was hit forcing its move.


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2004 01:55 
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If hit the cable can be restored. Not sure if Pakistanis have a UAV that operates at that altitude. I suppose they could use a HA baloon, but then that would be shot down pretty fast.


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2004 02:07 
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sunil, actually shooting down an HA baloon is not as easy as it sounds ...


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2004 08:24 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jagan:
Quote:
Originally posted by Daulat:
[b]pylons, base stations can both be hit - agreed on line of sight need. then there are uav's. does pak arty have sufficient coverage in the area?

then there are infiltrators... not sure if this is remotely feasible in this sector, either across LAC or via the valley
The cable probably covers supply from base of glacier to kumar which is about half way thru the glacier. i dont see any sources mentioing that the cable is going to service individual psots. which i think is not the case at all. Ditto with the pipeline. Its probably only upto Kumar Camp, from where things are airlifted to the posts.

Pylons need a direct hit on the base from Arty to knock it down. Even a near miss is not enough. UAVs probably will not be able to operate in the rarefied atmosphere and at that altitude and terrain. Infilitrators (militants) on the Glacier?? not a chance. they will be freezed popsicles before they can do some damage.[/b]
The Army may seek new HA versions of Searchers with Siachen in mind, not out of the realms of whats possible!


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2004 11:43 
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I have wondered if it not better to have a electric cable running instead of the kerosene pipeline. I mean cant a mini electic power station ( disel fired) be created at the base. Kerosene might still be needed though in much reduced quantities. An electric cable will be more immune to firing, no need to pump up the slope .....


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2004 15:12 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ehsmang:
I have wondered if it not better to have a electric cable running instead of the kerosene pipeline. I mean cant a mini electic power station ( disel fired) be created at the base. Kerosene might still be needed though in much reduced quantities. An electric cable will be more immune to firing, no need to pump up the slope .....
suspect that kerosene is easier to use for multi-purposes, including de-icer, disinfectant, lubricant, etc., etc. and probably kerosene heaters are easier to use and maintain than electric heaters, not to mention thermal efficincy. clearly there is also much need for electricty up there for signals and surveillance

also not sure if your average electrical cable is reliable in those temperatures

I think that a High Alt. UAV is going to be pretty critical; perhaps this is the direction that son-of-nishant needs to take?


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2004 16:05 
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Daulat,

Could be the regular cable but properly insulated just like the kerosene pipe line must be. Cant imagine anything not properly insulated there.

Energy effecient? not sure. Pumping along the pipeline must itself be quite energy consuming?

I mean storing kerosene must be taking space, plus all the black soot + plus fear of accidental fire inside the igloo??.... A mix of kerosene+electric and maybe Gas ( CNG, LPG???).


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2004 17:16 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ehsmang:
Daulat,

Could be the regular cable but properly insulated just like the kerosene pipe line must be. Cant imagine anything not properly insulated there.

Energy effecient? not sure. Pumping along the pipeline must itself be quite energy consuming?

I mean storing kerosene must be taking space, plus all the black soot + plus fear of accidental fire inside the igloo??.... A mix of kerosene+electric and maybe Gas ( CNG, LPG???).
many pros and cons
then there is solar and wind too! lets not forget the intense radiation and killer winds up there
wind gen must be a sure thing, even if solar is dubious


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2004 14:53 
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Well, I am by no means an expert on military tactics, Daulat. But at the political level I believe that turning Siachen into a de-militarized zone is not possible because of the political equity invested by both India and Pakistan. By speaking of following them down, I meant to point out that we should not vacate our gains, and even press home the advantage. Though perhaps this will be difficult in the case of say the Kondus, I would imagine, to literally carry out, because of supply and logistical constraints.

If we were to use such yardsticks such as logistics of mounting an operation to take the heights, now held by India, the difficulties of mustering enough striking power in men and armaments, we should be able to conclude that Pakistan has been dealt a resounding defeat on the field, and should now vacate the battlefield since they are in a practically unsustainable position. But they, of course, are not being rational, or at best, wildly optimistic. Instead of leaving the field, they want India to give up her gains. Let them go if they want, is what I feel. Holding the heights makes for a strong holding position, their NLI proved that during Kargil.

I am all for making the soldiers more comfortable, and safer from conditions at that altitude and on that terrain, also, but all of a country's frontiers need to be defended.

I believe that India's long term strategic objective in northern J&K should be eviction of invasion forces from Tribal Areas, and cutting off of Karakoram Highway, and connecting Northern J&K to Central Asia through Aghanistan. The Valley may have emotional appeal for most Indians but I think that securing the Siachen, cutting of the Karakoram Highway, securing the Northern Areas, would really cement India's hold on J&K militarily, by at the least turning it into a two dog fight... Military position on the ground can translate into political momentum which force even the most irrational of opponents into making, it can be hoped, somewhat permament arrangements that recognize polico-military realities.


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PostPosted: 02 Mar 2004 20:11 
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April is still a month away, so this thread needs to live a little longer - up you go!


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PostPosted: 02 Mar 2004 21:22 
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prasanjit - good points re aims
when i said 'follow them down', i meant on their side, not ours!

i fully subscribe to making life easier for the men up there, mountains are brutal environments - which we had discovered on this forum is not a fact appreciated by all


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2004 10:46 
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For the blunder of 1947, Indians have to go through this grueling Siachen episode. If only Nehru has allowed the military to re-claim the whole of J&K way back then, there would be a clear contiguous Indian territory reaching into Central Asia which today could be very valuable for a gas pipeline. Anyways how much more can we not pile on Nehru. Hindsight 20/20.
AS


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2004 12:21 
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Avram,

Maybe,again maybe, you maybe right.


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2004 17:32 
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There was a report recently of a new and hi-tech cable car system for Gulmarg.

Any news on the one intended for Siachen?


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2004 02:40 
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Quote:
Originally posted by avram sprinzl:
For the blunder of 1947, Indians have to go through this grueling Siachen episode. If only Nehru has allowed the military to re-claim the whole of J&K way back then, there would be a clear contiguous Indian territory reaching into Central Asia which today could be very valuable for a gas pipeline. Anyways how much more can we not pile on Nehru. Hindsight 20/20.
AS
Too many factors during those confusing years with the military being headed by British officers. They were passing information between the Pakistan and India and to the HMG in the true spirit of Machiavellian plan.


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2004 02:54 
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I also feel that we have piled too much on Nehru without knowing British trecheary. But hey,Leadership is all about rising above constraints and doing the impossible.

rgds,
fanne

Ps - We never had a thread specifically devoted to what happened in 1947, regarding JK. Who all the players were and what was there role. I suspect some of those factor still play today and that is why US/UK react the way they do. A better appreciation of the current situation might come from studying that period.

rgds,
fanne


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2004 08:27 
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There was a book on the 1947/48 war & diplomacy that was released in the past 2-3 years. Caused quite a a lot of media buzz when it came out. Whats the name? I want to purchase it.


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2004 17:14 
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Can anybody identify the battalions involved in the launch of Op Meghdoot. And who was commander 102 Bde and GOC 3 Inf Div during the time?


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2004 18:06 
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Quote:
Originally posted by aman:
Can anybody identify the battalions involved in the launch of Op Meghdoot. And who was commander 102 Bde and GOC 3 Inf Div during the time?
IIRC 4 Kumaon and Ladakh Scouts were involved. weren't they?


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2004 18:16 
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Jagan,
Right you are and thanks for reminding me. 4 Kumaon was the first to occupy Bilafond la led by Capt Sanjay Kulkarni. I think the national flag was hoisted there on Aptil 13. Thanks a lot (Heil Jagan).
Now if someone could help with the Cdr 102 bde and GOC 3 Div I would be eternally grateful.


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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2004 02:08 
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Friday April 2, 8:01 PM

Kalam charms troops in freezing Siachen (NIGHTLEADS)
By Indo-Asian News Service
http://in.news.yahoo.com/040402/43/2ccso.html


Siachen, Apr 2 (IANS) President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Friday charmed troops stationed on Siachen glacier, scene of high-altitude battles between Indian and Pakistani troops for years, as he became the first head of state to visit the inhospitable Himalayan terrain.

Defying his age and the rarefied Himalayan atmosphere, Kalam, 72, donning special gear and a thick woollen cap, freely interacted with the delighted troops and personally served them food at a 'bara khana' (grand feast) organized at the base camp here to mark the first presidential visit to Siachen.

The 42-km-long and 2 to 4-km-wide glacier has in some ways come to symbolise the protracted territorial conflict between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir.

Adverse weather conditions -- including temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius -- at posts located at heights of 20,000 feet has claimed the lives of more Indian and Pakistani soldiers than the exchange of fire.

"Eat, eat, you need strength," the president told the soldiers as the smiling men held out their plates to be served by the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces.

Some shot questions at the president about his job, about his hobbies, as Kalam smilingly engaged them in conversation.

The president, accompanied by army chief Gen. N.C. Vij and other senior officials, addressed the troops at the air force station at Thoise, the base camp in Siachen and another camp at Kumar on the glacier.

"When I see you all in your uniform you look very smart, you look combat-ready and you look confident to face any situation and win," he eulogized one group.

"I am fully aware of the inhospitable environment in which you have been operating and carrying out your duties meticulously to support the army operations in this sector," he said.

"The entire nation is with you and leads you to modernize and force multiply all your aerial platforms and ground support systems, so that you will excel in the aerial mountain warfare. Air force is indeed the angels for our mountain troops," he told the applauding airmen.

He spoke about the geo-strategic importance of the glacier in his address at the base camp.

"When I was flying from Thoise to Kumar and back, I was witnessing the challenge of snowy terrain with fast winds. Now I am with you. Your Brigade has a tremendous responsibility for defending the Siachen sector in varied seasons under heavy snow fall and against incessant gun firings some times."

He told the soldiers: "The nation realises that you are encountering not one adversary but two. One across the border and the other inhospitable nature.

"We recognise that you are fighting a battle at the highest altitude in the world. It is the duty of the nation to ensure your welfare and happiness and the happiness of your families at all times.

He also urged them to ensure that Siachen remained pristine.

"Survival of the Siachen glacier is very important for the nation since it is our water reservoir. I would like the army to take this up as a mission and keep the glacier ecologically safe," he said, adding any deterioration of the glacier will be detrimental to the country's water resource and ecology.

He noted that two important rivers, Shyok and its tributary Nubra, originated in the Siachen.


Turning philosophical, "in this divine Himalayan ambience," the president said: "I believe god creates every living being with a mission and specific purpose. You are fortunate to have been blessed to be in a position to perform a noble mission of defending the nation as soldiers."

"When I see you, you all look very smart, you look combat ready and through gracious smile in your faces you look winning," he said.

Though this was his first visit to the glacier as president, Kalam had visited the region as the scientific adviser to the defence minister in 1998. And he referred to that visit in his speeches.

Though Defence Minister George Fernandes has made over 30 trips to Siachen, this was the first time an Indian president was visiting the harsh, snow-bound glacier where Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire regularly before the two countries declared a ceasefire in November last year.

Kalam flew from Delhi by an Indian Air Force VIP Boeing plane to Thoise air force base, located at 10,066 feet, and proceeded from there to the Siachen army base camp in a helicopter.

A brigade-strength of troops, or about 5,000 soldiers, is based in Siachen, though not all were there to hear Kalam, who hoped his message would reach the entire 102 Brigade deployed there.

"For me it is the most important discussion that I am having with you," Kalam said.


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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2004 06:19 
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The month of Meghdoot is here, and what could be a more fitting way to celebrate than to have the C-in-C visit? Thank you so much, President. Your visit will silence the dogs more than anything else can!

From www.dailyexcelsior.com (no directly linked archives)

Quote:
Siachen Glacier has extreme geo-strategic
importance: Kalam

SIACHEN BASE CAMP, Apr 2: Making the first-ever Presidential visit to the world’s highest battlefield, A P J Abdul Kalam today said the 75 kms-long Siachen Glacier was of "extreme geo-strategic importance" to India and told the troops there is a comprehensive security plan while having a diplomatic approach to peace.

Visiting troops at Kumar Advance Post, Siachen base camp and the IAF personnel posted in areas adjoining Thoise airbase, he said the troops in the Siachen sector have to be always alert with very fast reaction time.

"But I can assure you that the nation is fully conscious of its responsiblity in enhancing troops survivability, sustainabilty, efficiency and motivation with cheers.

"The nation has a comprehensive security plan. We are also having a diplomatic appproach to peace; some positive and encouraging signs are visible along the western and northern borders," the President said as he outlined to troops posted at the icy heights that there was now a sustained effort underway to modernise the three wings of the armed forces and equip them with latest technologies.

While saying that many battles had been fought around the glacier for over 20 years, Kalam, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, acknowledged at the same time that the guns were now silent.

Pointing out to the troops that their valour was the most powerful battle-winning weapon, Kalam said "the glacier is of extreme geo-strategic importance where our Indira Col meets Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin. Many battles have been fought during the last 20 years to establish our supremacy. It is war of deeds".

The President said in the modernisation drive, special emphasis was being placed on equipping the troops battling heavy odds in inhospitable terrain "like here".

He said thermally-heated shoes and maps drawn from ground penetration radars to indicate possible avalanche prone areas would soon be made available to troops serving in extreme high altitudes. Kalam also told the troops to get trained in usage of handheld GPS, which would help them in patrolling the snowy heights.

Kalam visited the Kumar Advance camp located at an altitude of 4,800 metres, base camp at 4,000 metres, Siachen Battle School and said that ground penetration radars fitted on helicopters used in tandem with GPS system could enable accurate mapping of crevasses, the major life coster in the glacier area.

The President also disclosed that the Thoise air base would soon be extended to enable take off and landings by high performance fighters by next year. He also advocated that high altitude UAV system with appropriate sensors should be deployed in the area for carrying out reconnaissance operations.

During his addresses at different locations, Kalam dwelt at length on the dangers of environmental degradation of the 75-kms long glacier due to human presence.

Describing the glacier as one of the water arteries of the country, Kalam commended the efforts of soldiers in defending such inhospitable heights and urged them to keep the glacier ecology clean as otherwise, any imbalance created could be catastrophic not only for the country, but for the region as whole.

Kalam told the troops that the most important aspect in mountain warfare was timely reconnaissance— both long term and short term. In high altitude environment when the sky was cloudy throughout the year, reconissance satellites using conventional remote sensing cameras could not provide data at all times, he added.

The President said India now had access to remote sensing satellites with synthetic aperture radars and this coupled with IAF sorties could provide timely information about unusual movements of the adversary.

He also stressed that the high altitude capability of the just rolling out advance light helicopter needed to be improved so that IAF kept similar range of helicopters and fighters in such areas.

Labelling the soldiers as "true icons" of the nation, Kalam told the troops that they were on an important mission as when nation sleeps at night, it was their vigil which awakes them to security.

The President also said that important changes had come about in the area in mountain meteorology programme with a number of automatic weather stations coming up connected with mother hub. He said with data available from these stations, efforts were now on to considerably improve the accuracy of avalanche forecasting. (PTI)


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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2004 10:40 
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Icy cold and warm, waiting for Commander in Chief Kalam in Siachen

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=44237


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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2004 14:14 
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Siachen soldiers receive President and his gift http://www.expressindia.com/kashmir/full_story.php?content_id=44330

Quote:
as Kalam ventured as far as Kumar Forward Logistic Base, named after Col Kumar who took one of the earliest mountaineering expeditions into the region and died there.
Can someone tell Mr. Saikat Datta that Col Kumar is still alive....sigh........ :roll: :roll:


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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2004 17:05 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jagan:
[b]Siachen soldiers receive President and his gift http://www.expressindia.com/kashmir/full_story.php?content_id=44330

Quote:
as Kalam ventured as far as Kumar Forward Logistic Base, named after Col Kumar who took one of the earliest mountaineering expeditions into the region and died there.
Can someone tell Mr. Saikat Datta that Col Kumar is still alive....sigh........ :roll: :roll: [/b]
giggle giggle :lol:


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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2004 18:51 
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Two decades of Siachen
HT Sunday Magazine, Chd Edition April 11, no archives

Man Aman Singh chhina

On April 13 it will be exact 20 years to the day when the first Indian troops set foot on Bilafond La on the Saltoro Range, thus marking the beginning of Operation Meghdoot-an effort by the Indian Army to take control of various heights in an area now immortalized as Siachen Glacier.

A few days later Indian troops occupied Sia La and it was some time before the Pakistanis realized their presence. Thus began, what has been described by many defence strategists, a mad scramble to occupy the next available heights in the course of which the entire Saltoro range was militarised.

The actual battles for the control of the heights have never taken place on the Siachen Glacier but have been fought with tenacity and ferocity on the Saltoro range. Though the name 'Siachen Glacier' has stuck for 20 years, it is in fact one of the many glaciers existing in the area adjoining Saltoro range.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Operation Meghdoot, it is perhaps time to look back at what conditions existed when it was launched and what was going on in the minds of the Generals who ordered it.

Hindustan Times spoke to Lt Gen PN Hoon (retd) who was the General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps when the Operation was launched and who, along with Lt Gen ML Chibber, the then General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, supervised the initial effort.

“I certainly did not imagine that Op Meghdoot would continue for a period as long as two decades,” he says bluntly.

According to Lt Gen Hoon the plan was to occupy Bilafond La, Sia La and some other heights before withdrawing the bulk of the force. He feels that no one foresaw what would happen ten to fifteen years down the line and thus a solution to the problem has eluded India and Pakistan.

The genesis of Op Meghdoot lay in the fact that the Army HQs found that Pakistan was sending mountaineering expeditions into the area and that it had already formed a brigade level force to occupy the glacier who's first attempt had failed. The Indian Army decided to go ahead immediately and the operation, which was initially planned for August 1984, was pre-poned to April to surprise the enemy, says Lt Gen Hoon.

When asked about the state of preparedness for the operation, Lt Gen Hoon reveals that the army did not have the kind of equipment needed to operate in heights ranging from 19,000 feet to 22,000 feet. “Officers were sent around to different countries trying to secure the equipment we needed and it was flown to India by IAF aircraft,” he recalls.

The troops were intended to be self sufficient for at least ten days before the lines of supply and logistics could be established to link up with them. The men who were to participate in this historic effort were already acclimatizing in Gulmarg and Zojila area, he recalls.

Partapur/Thoise was made the base camp for the Operation and the Corps Commander was present there to supervise the effort. His military secretary at the time was a certain Colonel NC Vij who today is better known as General NC Vij, Chief of Army Staff.

“A Captain of Kumaon Regiment along with some jawans were dropped on Bilafond La by a Cheetah chopper of the IAF flown by Sqn Ldr SS Bains and Sqn Ldr Rohit Rai. One of the jawans secured the Indian tricolour on top and hence started Op Meghdoot,” recalls Lt Gen Hoon.

The one problem he visualised was the vertical envelopment of the first batch of troops by the Pakistanis. In such a scenario I would have been hard pressed for a solution, the General says. "When I was flying back to Leh after about ten days of the launch of the operation, I got a message that Pakistani helicopters were circling over our posts. I immediately gave the orders to shoot them down, but they went away on their own and a crises was averted," he reminisces.

When asked about the perspective planning done for the operations he says “Planning must be seen with a long term perspective of ten to fifteen years down the road but this is often dictated by the government in power and the Generals at the helm of affairs,”. “But there is no doubt in my mind that we had to occupy the Saltoro range or else the Pakistanis would have come down to Nubra Valley and Leh would have been threatened,” he emphasised.

Lt Gen Hoon opines that the occupation of Saltoro and hence Siachen must continue till the time Gen Pervez Musharraf is in power. “India will get nowhere with him and Op Meghdoot has to continue till he is in power,” he ends with a sense of finality.

Twenty years old and still continuing, Op Meghdoot has transformed from being a dreadful place to sort of an enigma for the young Army officers and jawans. Something akin to a rite of passage where young soldiers volunteer for a posting 'on the Glacier' to earn their spurs, and get respect from fellow soldiers.
The rigours of high altitude warfare and fear of falling prey to High Altitude Cerebral Odema notwithstanding, they feel a distinct pride in wearing the grey and white campaign ribbon of Siachen Glacier.


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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2004 18:56 
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Hey I've located 4 Kumaon, the battalion which was the first to set foot on Saltoro. I'm gonna do a feature on them.
Secondly, the IAF PR apparatus SUCKS :cool: .


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2004 02:54 
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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/646138.cms

Peace park at Siachen soon?

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2004 10:14:01 PM ]

NEW DELHI: If glaciers are melting and Indo-Pakistan relations are thawing, can Siachen be far behind?



Apparently, a Track II initiative spearheaded by former US ambassador to India Harry Barnes is floating the idea of a peace park in Siachen. A group of glaciologists and mountaineers are planning to meet in summer, possibly in Dubai or Bangkok, and may come up with an appeal to demilitarise the area, says glaciologist S I Hasnain. This US-led effort has been brewing for some years. And, Britain seem set to take it up, with a meeting of their own late next month.



Mars may also have something to do with it. Himalayan glaciers seem to have the same kind of frozen ice debris — and that could be a good training ground for a possible manned mission to the red planet. Or, so it is said.



Other than Hasnain, a dozen others from India have been approached for participation in this ‘Track II’ initiative — all outside government, of course. The official objective is to study the impact of changing climate and human intervention on the biggest glacier in the Himalayan ranges.


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2004 05:15 
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Quote:
Originally posted by aman:
I asked for permission to do a feature on 114 HU, the Siachen Pioneers, and they have not even had the courtesy of replying.
We hve a guy on this..give it two months, you will find a detailed history here...


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PostPosted: 26 May 2004 20:37 
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Guess who is active on the net again :roll:

Quote:
http://www.sulekha.com/weblogs/weblogdesc.asp?cid=12499

Twentieth Anniversary of War in Siachen

by Pavan Nair

On 13 April 1984, the Indian Army undertook an operation to occupy the Saltoro Ridge which overlooks the Siachen Glacier. Soldiers were dropped by helicopters at heights of up to twenty thousand feet. Pakistan reacted by occupying positions to block any further advance. Fierce battles raged for many years. Most of the casualties were caused by the altitude and inhospitable terrain. Avalanches buried hundreds whose bodies were never found. Many fell into crevasses to freeze to death. Many perished of Pulmonary Oedima and Hypothermia. Many lost fingers and toes to frostbite.

13 April 2004 marks the twentieth anniversary of the longest war in modern history. The cost so far is nearly ten thousand soldiers killed or wounded on both sides and about 8 billion dollars spent at over a million dollars a day. The environment has been despoiled by human waste and hundreds of thousands of shells.

To Commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of the War in Siachen:

-Let us pay tribute to the many thousands who lost life or limb.

-Let us remember their loved ones who suffered with them.

-Let us think of the ten thousand who stand sentinel on either side of the line.

-Let us strive to do our duty by them.

-Let us seek an honorable end to this forgotten war. [color=red](wink wink)</FONT>


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PostPosted: 26 May 2004 20:56 
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> peace park in Siachen - scientists to meet in Dubai and Bangkok.

Why don't these xyzologists hold a peace conference on the Siachen Glacier itself? :roll:

> Pavan Nair on Suleka.

Can someone who is on sulekha post a rebuttal to that?


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2004 12:32 
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Primer on the Worlds Highest Battlefield
http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/aug/05spec2.htm
The Rediff Special/Amberish K Diwanji
August 05, 2004


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2004 22:55 
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The Rediff primer forgets to mention the cartographic mistakes by a variety of sources, including the US Defence Mapping Agency, the National Geographic Society's Atlas of the world and the Times Atlas of the world, which showed a straight line from the NJ9842 to the Karakorum Pass. Physical possession of the glacier by Pakistan would have been rationalized post-factum by reference to these maps.

The gracious Pakistani invitations to mountaineering expedition were an inexpensive way of formalizing their claims to possession.


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2004 23:08 
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India, Pakistan End Talks on Kashmir Glacier
By PRATAP CHAKRAVARTY, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NEW DELHI


India and Pakistan wrapped up two days of high-level talks Aug. 6 on ways to demilitarize a strategic glacier in disputed Kashmir and agreed to meet again to discuss the issue.

“The two defense secretaries agreed to continue their discussions with a view to resolving the Siachen issue in a peaceful manner,” a joint statement issued at the end of the talks in New Delhi said.

The statement did not specify a date for the resumption of talks over the 20,700-foot (6,300-meter) glacier where more troops have died of frostbite and altitude sickness than in fighting.

Siachen, known as the world’s highest battlefield, is located in a remote area of Kashmir, which is held in part by nuclear rivals India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both.

The two countries, which have fought three wars since their 1947 independence and came close to a fourth in 2002, said they held “frank and candid discussions ... aimed at taking the process forward.”

The meeting between Pakistani Defense Secretary Hamid Nawaz Khan and his Indian counterpart Ajai Vikram Singh were the first high-level talks over the glacier in seven years, it said.

“Both sides assessed positively the ceasefire that has been in effect since 25 November 2003,” it said.

“The military experts of the two sides also met to discuss modalities for disengagement and redeployment of troops, and agreed to have further discussions,” the statement said.

Officials attending the talks said the Pakistani side called for a pullback of troops to the level of the ceasefire reached after the last full-fledged war between India and Pakistan in 1971.

The Indian army holds vantage points on the 72-kilometer (45-mile) long Siachen glacier, with Pakistani troops at lower positions, and does not want the demilitarization of the glacier to be linked to the dispute over Kashmir, the cause of two of the three wars between the countries.

Mutual mistrust has so far blocked attempts to demilitarize the frigid wasteland.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna, meanwhile, said India and Pakistan Friday launched separate talks in New Delhi on a maritime dispute which has festered for decades.

Tensions over Sir Creek spiraled in 1999 when Indian jets shot down a Pakistani patrol plane and Pakistan retaliated by firing missiles at Indian helicopters over the disputed territory -- an area of water with access to the sea between India’s Gujarat state and Pakistan’s Sindh province.

India also said Aug. 6 THAT separate talks with Pakistan on the issue of cross-border terrorism and drug trafficking will be held Aug. 9.

“(Home Secretary Dhirendra) Singh is expected to convey India’s worries over cross-border terrorism and infiltration and also infrastructure facilities being given to terrorist groups in Pakistan,” an interior ministry official said.

New Delhi says Pakistan-based Islamic militants are operating in Indian Kashmir despite the ongoing peace process between the two countries.

Islamabad denies supporting the insurgency, describing the rebellion as the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-rule.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2004 07:27 
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Jagan wrote:
Quote:
Originally posted by aman:
I asked for permission to do a feature on 114 HU, the Siachen Pioneers, and they have not even had the courtesy of replying.
We hve a guy on this..give it two months, you will find a detailed history here...


My bad. I commit to complete the feature on 114 HU in under 6 weeks. I will complete tax in a week and get to the job.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2004 09:13 
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Siachen has unfortunately become a hugely emotive issue for both India and Pakistan. And that has prevented us from taking a rational view of what to do with it. From what I keep reading, opinion within the army is fairly divided on the strategic importance of the place. I read a highly decorated general (unfortunately I forget the name) who said that we should vacate Siachen on one condition, ie, Pakistan should promise to maintain one brigade there!!!!

But surely, as Gen Raghavan also says in his book, our strategy till now has been to physically occupy every major (and minor) ridge, peak and hilltop in the area. This has jacked up costs of maintaining the force to an extent that we apparently spend around 10 crores every day on Siachen! Maybe it is time for us to see whether we can do this a little more intelligently. IMHO having a strong strategic reserve in the Siachen Base Camp and covering the higher peaks and ridges through a combination of electronic, aerial and satellite surveillance is something that merits more attention. The effort to procure high altitude UAVs is probably to the same purpose.

Net net, we should be looking to cut down the costs, importantly the human costs, of physically holding Siachen. And at some point, examine the need for a settlement there with Pakistan. No country keeps so many of it its troops in such harsh conditions for so long, there has to be a more cost effective strategic solution.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2004 10:49 
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somnath wrote:
This has jacked up costs of maintaining the force to an extent that we apparently spend around 10 crores every day on Siachen!


Is it really 10 Crores? I would doubt that figure. Any references online availalbe on the costs of the Siachen maintenance?

Even at a time (early 90s) when our Supply chain was not too optimised with the absense of the Cable CAr supply and the KErosene pipleline, I read that our per day costs was around 2-3 Crores. I dont think Inflation hit us so badly in ten years that it trebled to 10 Crores per day!


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2004 11:27 
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Jagan, you are right, the 10 crore number does seem a little exaggerated (dont remember where I read that number). This link to a CNN report puts it at USD 1 million a day, so approx 5 crores.

http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/s ... n.kashmir/

Regards
Somnath


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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2004 07:52 
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Looking for a quick and dirty answer. Am I right in saying that India is currently in complete posession of the territories referred to as "Siachen Glacier" and to the west of it "Saltoro Ridge" and that the current Indo-Pak faceoff occurs on the western frontlines of the Saltoro Ridge with the PA trying to dislodge us?


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