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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2006 08:09 
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- Link to 2007 SANDIA National Laboratories Report on De-militarization of Siachen authored by Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (Indian Army-retd.) and Brigadier Asad Hakeem (Pakistan Army-retd). This was actually prepared in 2005 and published in 2006 and 2007.

http://www.sandia.gov/cooperative-monitoring-center/_assets/documents/sand20075670.pdf

Some other papers from same think-tank to show the focus on Siachen has existed for a long time. Along with other areas.

- 1998 Paper from Co-operative Monitoring Center (CMC) of Sandia National Laboratories titled: Reducing Risk in South Asia: Managing India-Pakistan Tensions. The Siachen aspect features prominently in the paper.

http://www.sandia.gov/cooperative-monitoring-center/_assets/documents/sand98-050520.pdf

- 1998 Paper titled: Siachen Science Center: A Concept for Cooperation at the Top of the World

http://www.sandia.gov/cooperative-monitoring-center/_assets/documents/sand98-05052.pdf

- Another 1998 Paper on Enhancing Security Through a Cooperative Border Monitoring Experiment: A Proposal for India and Pakistan

http://www.sandia.gov/cooperative-monitoring-center/_assets/documents/sand98-050521.pdf

- 2000 Paper on Preventing Another India-Pakistan War: Enhancing Stability Along the Border

http://www.sandia.gov/cooperative-monitoring-center/_assets/documents/sand98-050517.pdf

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If one goes through these papers (and others linked under Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC) heading on Sandia National Laboratories website), one can see that 2005 Paper by Gurmeet Kanwal and ex-PA Brigadier builds on studies and recommendations made earlier in these papers.

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The CBM paper on Siachen De-militarization released by Atlantic Council Of Ottawa was withdrawn from their website. Here is the content of the same which was saved for posterity during discussion on the subject on BRF.

CBM Paper link URL which does not work now -
http://www.acus.org/files/Siachen%20Proposal%20-%20Lahore%20September%202012.pdf

Quote:
The Siachen Proposal

India-Pakistan CBMs Project

Siachen Proposal

There was further discussion on the proposal for the demilitarisation of the region and for stringent and cooperative monitoring and verification of this.

After considerable discussion a suggestion achieved consensus which seeks to have these activities occur as part of an overall package. Recognising that both countries have a divergence of views, it was felt that such an approach is more likely to create forward movement.

Accordingly, as a part of the comprehensive resolution of the Siachen dispute, and notwithstanding the claims of each country, both sides should agree to withdraw from the conflict area while retaining the option of punitive action should the other side renege on the commitments. The following clear package of integrated and inter-linked stipulations were laid down for the demilitarisation of the area and delineation of the line:

-Set up a joint commission to delineate the line beyond NJ 9842, consistent with existing Agreements;

-The present ground positions would be jointly recorded and the records exchanged;

-The determination of the places to which redeployment will be affected would be jointly agreed;

-Disengagement and demilitarization would occur in accordance with a mutually acceptable time frame to be agreed (see Annex 1);

-Prior to withdrawal, each side will undertake to remove munitions and other military equipment and waste from areas of its control; and

-Ongoing cooperative monitoring of these activities and the resulting demilitarized zone would be agreed to ensure/assure transparency (see Annex 2).

In keeping with the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration both sides should undertake that resolution of this issue is a bilateral matter and that there will be no change in the status of the area and also that no personnel of any third country will be permitted
within it unless cleared by the two countries jointly.

Annex 1

Suggested Time Frame for Demilitarisation

Schedule for Demilitarisation

Operational principles:

• Establish a Joint Working Group to recommend detailed re-deployment and oversee implementation of the process.
• Variability in process is likely due to frequently changing weather conditions.

Weather forces disengagement to be conducted during the summer season (May –
September)

Determination of the place (s) to which redeployment will be effected and the time frame to be recommended by the Joint Working Group.

Mechanism for joint management of the demilitarized zone to be recommended by the Joint Working Group.

Possible Phases of Demilitarisation (with appropriate waste and munitions removal at each phase)

Phase 1: Withdraw medium artillery located near Base Camps (e.g., Dzingrulma, Gyari)

Phase 2: Withdraw troops and field artillery from Northern, Central, and Southern battalion sub-sectors
• Forward posts, including crew-served weapons posts
• Declare staging camps where troops from forward positions will transit through in the process of re-deployment
• Dismantle camps after withdrawal

Phase 3: Withdraw from forward logistics camps on or near the Glacier
Phase 4: Dismantle remaining logistics camps
Phase 5: Withdraw from base camps
Phase 6: Dismantle or convert base camps to scientific/civil use

Ongoing: Cooperative monitoring and verification of demilitarization (see Annex 3)

Annex 2

Monitoring and Verification of the Demilitarisation

Overall Concept

• Monitoring initially, by national technical means

• Phase 1: Monitoring and verification of disengagement during the establishment of the DMZ
o Verify that posts, logistics centers, and base camps vacated

• Phase 2: Post-disengagement monitoring of the DMZ
o Verify that military personnel and equipment do not re-enter the DMZ

• On an ongoing basis, the primary monitoring and verification mechanisms will be both bilateral and cooperative

Goal is to verify withdrawal and dismantlement of military facilities

• Visual: The withdrawal from Indian and Pakistani posts within line of sight of each other is to be coordinated so each side can observe the activities of the other. Ammunition and heavy weapons which cannot be moved immediately will be temporarily stored in-place and subject to joint verification and monitoring.

• Joint Aerial Reconnaissance: A pair of Indian and Pakistani helicopters will rendezvous at an agreed location and then fly together along the Forward Battle Positions in the agreed sector to visually verify and photographically record
withdrawal and dismantlement of post or logistics camp.

• On-site inspection: Both sides have the right to request that its representative land by helicopter at a location to confirm withdrawal and dismantlement.

• Unilateral activities: Both sides should agree not to interfere with the other’s national technical means Goal of detecting illicit re-occupation of positions within the DMZ

• Monitoring and verification considerations:
o Nothing happens quickly on Siachen; logistics and weather drive all
o The possibility of a quick, stealthy reoccupation, without an air bridge, is remote
 Aerial operations are obvious
 Small-scale intrusions are neither significant nor sustainable

• Monitoring and verification should focus on logistics
o All Indian logistics flows through Dzingrulma
o Pakistan has multiple logistics routes through civilian villages


Quote:
Part II

List of delegates from both the sides:

Pakistan

General Jehangir Karamat (Pakistan Army Retd), CHAIR
Admiral Tariq Khan (Pakistan Navy, Retd)
General Tariq Majid (Pakistan Army, Retd)
Lieutenant General Sikander Afzal (Pakistan Army, Retd)
Lieutenant General (Retd) Tariq Ghazi (former Defense Secretary of Pakistan)
Major General Qasim Qureshi (Pakistan Army, Retd)
Air Vice Marshal Shahzad Chaudhry (Pakistan Air Force, Retd)
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi (Pakistan Foreign Service, Retd)
Ambassador Aziz Khan (Pakistan Foreign Service, Retd)
Ambassador Riaz Khan (former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan)

India

Air Chief Marshal Shashi Tyagi (Indian Air Force Retd), CHAIR
Lieutenant General BS Pawar (Indian Army, Retd)
Vice Admiral A.K. Singh (Indian Navy, Retd)
Lieutenant General Aditya Singh (Indian Army, Retd)
Lieutenant General Arvinder Singh Lamba (Indian Army, Retd)
Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (Indian Army, Retd)
Brigadier Arun Sahgal (Indian Army, Retd)
Col Ajai Shukla (Journalist)
Rana Banerji (former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, India)
Ambassador Vivek Katju (Indian Foreign Service, Retd)
Ambassador Lalit Mansingh (former Foreign Secretary of India)


Last edited by rohitvats on 15 Apr 2014 14:36, edited 1 time in total.
Edited by rohitvats to add reference material on 2012 episode of Siachen sell out


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2006 10:09 
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Amitabh wrote:

(1) The Pakistani incentive to retake Siachen has decreased: There is plenty of evidence that the Pak army is sick of the conflict and its costs, and officers have been quoted bad mouthing Col Kumar for "starting the whole thing".


There is no evidence to indicate that the Pak Army is sick of the conflict, enough to turn down an opportunity to occupy the glacier. There is one piece of evidence that the Major located at one of the posts near the glacier is sick of the conflict and has bad mouthed Col. Kumar in one interview to an adventure magazine. The same article also recounts how an Indian Capt. doesn't want to be stationed in those climes, but that doesn't mean either he or the Indian Army wants to give up the territory.

The fact that PA refuses to authenticate the AGPL indicates that they believe they can tire the IA out into offering good terms for a withdrawal.

Amitabh wrote:
The strategic value of the area has decreased since the 1980s since the construction of new highways by India has made it less of a bottleneck and Dzingrulma is a less prized possession at this point.


The strategic value of the territory to the Pakistan Army lies in its political value. Regaining the glacier will be spun as evidence that the Pakistan Army alone is capable of defining and defending Pakistani national interests, at very high cost to itself.

Amitabh wrote:
Most importantly this is difficult terrain to supply and I'm not entirely clear how major offensives can be sustained across the terrain to other objectives,


What other major offensives and to capture what other terrain? Why would the PA even want to do that?

Quote:
but there are at a minimum questions about how effective a Saltoro offensive would be in the big picture.


What big picture?

Amitabh wrote:
So I am positing that the Pakistanis will be reluctant to reopen the theater given the experience of the last 20 years.


And such a postulate would be based on wishful thinking. The experience of the last 22 years has taught the IA and the PA one thing - if either of them occupies the main passes, they cannot be dislodged by the other.

Amitabh wrote:
It would be much smarter to hit them and then retaliate somewhere we have superiority...
The army in 1999 had planned for multiple limited offensives across the border but the government chose to rely on its diplomatic strategy to complement the local military effort.


The end game then was to vacate the PA aggression in Kargil. What would be the endgame here? Retake Siachen? Is it possible? Hold on to other enclaves along the LoC? What does that do to India's broader strategy of ensuring that the LoC should not be changed by force?

Amitabh wrote:
after a Siachen agreement I think there should be a clear political statement of this that commits major political parties to such a retaliatory approach (with sufficient vagueness as to where retaliation will occur).


Right. When there isn't even a Parliamentary debate on what to do with the territory we hold.

Amitabh wrote:
So, no there are no rock solid guarantees but I don't see why we have to hang on to Siachen just because we happen to have it right now.


How about we have a public debate on the permanent loss of Siachen without the possibility of recovering it?

I don't see anything new in your posts. I can't help but observe that this is a significant climbdown from your earlier tone of "what part of permanent guarantees can people not understand?".Yet, the salient issues are still missing.

That'll be all from me on this issue unless something new is brought to the table.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2006 20:12 
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Amitabh, maybe I have missed your opinion, or maybe I cannot decipher where you are going with this Siachen thing: so I have a basic fundamental question for you:

Irrespective of what TSP thinks, why do you think India should vacate Siachen now, and what good does it do for us?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2006 22:12 
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Amitabh wrote:
Quote:
]
So IMO we have an agreement, move out over time, they probably won't renege, and if they do they get pummelled at those heights and are deprived of territory that is far more valuable and visible elsewhere.


The army has stated that retaking siachen is out of the question, so I am not sure why they would pummel the pakis in Siachen if there is no chance of retaking the place. As for the GoI making a bold decision like retaking territory elsewhere, let us recall that the Parliament attack resulting in a lot of hot air and nothing else -- the BJP's Law Minister Ram Jethmalani even assisted some of the terrorists to evade the law -- and this was when a supposedly hawkish BJP govt. was in power.

Quote:
And after a Siachen agreement I think there should be a clear political statement of this that commits major political parties to such a retaliatory approach (with sufficient vagueness as to where retaliation will occur).


Given that India already has a political problem in J&K, why will occuping more paki-infested territory be a good thing? Siachen has no pakis or anyone living in there, but that is not true of Pok, which is infested with hard-core jihad types. What are we going to do, throw them out of the territory? Or are we going to start get more Indian soldiers killed in newly captured territory in PoK? We can be assured that the Pakis will get their jihadis all energized by such actions, which is clearly not a good thing from India's POV and a good thing for a Paki army.

How do we hope to stay on in this newly captured territory without getting embroiled in another high-casualty conflict with the pakjihadis?


Where is the public debate on the pros and the cons of this withdrawal. Some "analyst" in the GoI decided that a couple of pakis being "Sick of the conflict" (but not sick enough to readily agree on an established AGPL) and then uses the time-tested anal-extraction method to proclaim -- yup, we can get out of siachen, all three Indian experts in the GoI have agreed. Where is the public expositioning of this reasoning? How are these jokers in the GoI any better than a dictatorship if they just go about changing 20 year old policies on a whim and a peace process?


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2006 22:55 
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Amitabh wrote:
Here's what I think (and B Singh I'd be happy to mail you my chillum so you can get off the crack that clearly makes you a bit aggressive):



You mean the marijuana joint that raises you above the real world to a spiritual place where all is peace and all is harmony and all Pakis keep their word ?

No, thanks. I will pass on that offer :)

Quote:

(1) The Pakistani incentive to retake Siachen has decreased: There is plenty of evidence that the Pak army is sick of the conflict and its costs, and officers have been quoted bad mouthing Col Kumar for "starting the whole thing". The strategic value of the area has decreased since the 1980s since the construction of new highways by India has made it less of a bottleneck and Dzingrulma is a less prized possession at this point.




I must have missed a beat. The Pakistani army is still butchering people in Balochistan, fighting a half-hearted war against their former allies, the Taliban, in NWFP, still shooting across the LoC at our boys and sending terrorists across the border.

I think you took too deep a drag on that joint :)


Quote:

Most importantly this is difficult terrain to supply and I'm not entirely clear how major offensives can be sustained across the terrain to other objectives, particularly in comparison to other areas they could try and grab and under fire from Indian air power and artillery. Perhaps others can comment on the logistical aspect (I am no expert) but there are at a minimum questions about how effective a Saltoro offensive would be in the big picture. So I am positing that the Pakistanis will be reluctant to reopen the theater given the experience of the last 20 years.



Its possible you mislaid the map of the region when you were deep in the fumes but the Pakistani supply base is less than 12 km from their forward positions on Siachen, while Indian supply base is a 75 day trek from ours. The only way to supply our positions is by air.

Quote:
(2) Now let us assume that they do want to retake Saltoro and turn down my offer to do a study for the Institue of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on why this is silly. They have a stirling record of "tactical brilliance" (sarcastic here) and we can't rule that out as many people have pointed out (dear me, I had no idea...).

That's when diplomatic and military costs come in (and for those geniuses who concluded that Kofi Annan and Uncle Sam are the only tools I was referring to, kindly reread my original post). Just because the army didn't have data on high altitude characteristics of weapons in 1999 doesn't mean it can't have it in 2006, 2007, 2008... It would be much smarter to hit them and then retaliate somewhere we have superiority. The army in 1999 had planned for multiple limited offensives across the border but the government chose to rely on its diplomatic strategy to complement the local military effort. This basic principle is far more preferable.



If the Indian army's offensive in other sectors is limited, then all that will accomplish is paint the Indians as the aggressor (I can almost imagine the Europeans and Americans telling us "Why are you risking starting a war over such a frozen hell of a place ?") while impose no serious conditions on Pakistan. In 1999 during Kargil, the Americans did not need Pakistan to fight for them on Afghan border. Today they do, and they are not going to stand by and watch their proxy destablized from power just for some frozen hell of a place that Indians consider important. In 2002, Pakistanis attacked the Indian parliament - and even then the Americans exerted extremely heavy pressure to make India stop the retaliation. Pakistani infiltration into India continues even today - they killed a bright Math prof in Bangalore last year. Can you imagine what they are going to do if all that is at stake is a frozen glacier ?

If the Indian army's offensive in other sectors is heavy and seriously threatens the viability of Pakistan, the Pakis are going to use the nukes - they have no no-first use policy, and even if they did, it would not be worth paper it was written on. Needless to add, the Americans are going to twist India's arms to the breaking point in that case.

So what is your bloody problem ? You want to risk a future unwinnable conventional war from an Indian standpoint so that the world you see while you are stoned persists with you when you come back down to earth ?

The Indian army has already stated - they cannot retake the heights. I would trust the seasoned military minds of our army over a pinko marijuana addicted idiot any day.

Quote:

So IMO we have an agreement, move out over time, they probably won't renege, and if they do they get pummelled at those heights and are



A country's national interests and its strategic posture cannot be predicated on the possible good faith of its enemies.

Quote:

deprived of territory that is far more valuable and visible elsewhere. And after a Siachen agreement I think there should be a clear political statement of this that commits major political parties to such a retaliatory approach (with sufficient vagueness as to where retaliation will occur).



So you think India is going to occupy Bahawalpur or Karachi in retaliation and Uncle Sam is going to let that happen ? Tell me, did someone commit you to an asylum before they let you have the computer you are using right now ?

Quote:

So, no there are no rock solid guarantees but I don't see why we have to hang on to Siachen just because we happen to have it right now. It's a long LoC.



[sarcasm] India's borders are very long, maybe we should all withdraw to Delhi and cede everything to Pakistan, China and whoever else will relieve us of the burden of maintaining our borders. [/sarcasm]


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2006 23:22 
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Amitabh wrote:

Here's what I think (and B Singh I'd be happy to mail you my chillum so you can get off the crack that clearly makes you a bit aggressive):




You mean the marijuana joint that raises you above the real world to a spiritual place where all is peace and all is harmony and all Pakis keep their word ?

No, thanks. I will pass on that offer


Yaaa.... I was missing that "Asli khabrein ...." thread :P


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PostPosted: 01 May 2006 03:07 
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PM to visit Pak at an 'opportune time': Narayanan

Quote:
He said, "The Prime Minister would like to go at a time when it does make sense to go rather than making a trip for the sake of it.

"If there is something substantive as an outcome (of the peace process), I think that's the (time he will consider making a trip)...That could happen any time and it could take longer," the NSA said.


Aren't we putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves by making such statements? Why can't the PM just make a quick chai-biscoot tour of IRoP and be done with it? Just attend some Ghazal Mushairas over there in Mushy's company and then come back.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2006 10:33 
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My feeling is that MMS is too much of a babu to concede anything. Narayanan is correctly termed as NiSA by Ramana (National Insecurity advisor)


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PostPosted: 01 May 2006 10:38 
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NSA's son is settled in NY.


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PostPosted: 02 May 2006 22:40 
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I think the discussion in Kargil - IV thread should convince the Indian "leaders" to keep Siachen.


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PostPosted: 03 May 2006 00:20 
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It would be foolhardy to give up Siachen now that we have gotten acclimatised to it. Also, giving up anything at the peak of our strength makes no sense!! Position hundreds of Pinaka on the Norhtern and the Western borders and let them rip every time there is an attack.


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PostPosted: 03 May 2006 18:09 
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just as the paks think that a thrust along akhnoor will choke the kashmiri chicken... :shock: there must be a geographical feature - perhaps a valley or pass, whose occupation will permanently choke off the muzzaffrabad end of POK and all the northern areas? (and i don't mean haji pir pass)

whilst the armoured thrust across the rajasthan desert could bisect the main TSP/IROP landmass, there must be another jaguar vein crunching opportunity in POK that the IA has studied

can someone more knowledgable please enlighten us? or someone with some good sat imagery!


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PostPosted: 03 May 2006 18:24 
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From the Statesman (India) of May 3, 2006 Wednesday. Somebody pl. post a link if you find it:

HEADLINE: ADVANI SAYS SIACHEN PULL-OUT WOULD BE A SELL-OUT
Quote:
The BJP today said any ill-conceived pull out from Siachen would be a sell-out. Siachen cannot be treated as a stand-alone issue and any settlement should be guided by a sound strategic consideration of the countrys security and overall national interests, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mr LK Advani told reporters here...

He claimed that news reports indicate that Dr Singh wants a settlement of the Siachen issue during his proposed Pakistan visit. The imminent settlement suggests the UPA government was thinking of pulling out troops from Saltoro Ridge. Under the innovative compromise being considered by the government, India will effect a pull out from the Ridge without Pakistan agreeing to a mutually defined and demarcated Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), he said. Several think tanks and semi-official strategic affairs experts in Washington have been urging India to accept such innovations, the former BJP president claimed. Mr Advani said: The government should not gift away on diplomatic table what our soldiers have fought hard to gain in the battlefield.


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 01:34 
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from Pioneer, 4 May 2005

Quote:
Dangers of Saltor demilitarisation

G Parthasarathy |


There has been significant progress in recent months in expanding cooperation and reducing tensions between India and Pakistan, despite continuing incidents of ISI sponsored terrorism. The composite dialogue process, back channel and other contacts have led to an unprecedented increase in people-to-people contacts. A common ground is even being found in efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue, through greater interaction and dialogue, recognising that "borders cannot be redrawn". It would, however, be a Himalayan blunder if we are lulled into a sense of complacency and presume that the military establishment in Pakistan has become so benign that it would give up its efforts to "bleed India," or seek parity with India.

Remarks by National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and calculated leaks to the Press suggest that the Government is considering a precipitate withdrawal of forces from the Siachen region as part of deal with Pakistan on "demilitarisation" of the Siachen region. Such withdrawal would ignore the factors that led to distinguished Prime Ministers like Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee exercising caution and circumspection in approving proposals for demilitarisation in the region. The Siachen region lies on the Indian side of the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir. This territory has been defended by our Army, displaying immense courage and dedication.

Military commanders of India and Pakistan met in Karachi in 1949 and agreed on the precise location of the Cease Fire Line (CFL) in Jammu & Kashmir. The CFL was demarcated up to a point in the Kargil sector near the Shyok River defined as NJ 9842. The commanders agreed that beyond NJ 9842 the CFL would lie "thence north to the glaciers". As borders proceed along mountain ranges in such terrain, the CFL was, therefore, to move northwards along the Saltoro Range, to the west of the Siachen Glacier.

The CFL that was replaced by the LoC was strangely never formally delineated beyond NJ 9842. It was only after Pakistan tried to establish control over this area and sought to extend the LoC eastwards, to link up with China at the Karakoram Pass that Prime Minster Indira Gandhi approved plans for the Army to take firm control of the passes on the Saltoro Range in 1984. The Army has held these positions for the past 22 years in the face of relentless Pakistani attacks that ended only when the ceasefire across the entire LoC came into effect in November 2003. Pakistan eventually recognised that it could not overrun the Indian military positions in the Saltoro Range.

Several rounds of negotiations have been held with Pakistan to end tensions in the Siachen sector. The talks failed primarily because Pakistan refused to authenticate the Actual Ground Positions Line (AGPL) presently held by the two countries. The seventh round of discussions on the Siachen issue in 1998 enabled the Indian side to make it clear for the first time that the main issue was not the Siachen Glacier, which was well within areas under Indian control, but Pakistani attempts to dislodge Indian forces from the Saltoro Range, which was on the LoC, overlooking Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

The Government reached the conclusion in 1998 that given Pakistan's assistance to cross border terrorism and its propensity to seize Kashmir by coercive force, the only issues to be discussed on tensions along the Saltoro Range were: (a) A comprehensive ceasefire along the AGPL (b) A bilateral mechanism to ensure the cease fire was respected and (c) Authentication of existing ground positions. The then Defence Secretary Ajit Kumar declined to consider the issue of pulling back Indian forces from the strategic heights of the Saltoro range.

Both Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao eventually concluded that by supporting cross border terrorism Pakistan had violated the provisions of the Simla Agreement. Pakistan could, therefore, not be trusted to keep its word on respecting the sanctity of a zone of demilitarisation in the Siachen region. No one with even a rudimentary knowledge of the propensities of the Pakistani military would have backed any scheme for demilitarisation that placed Indian forces at a strategic disadvantage. Besides, the Kargil conflict engineered by General Pervez Musharraf only confirms that what Pakistan army could not take in war from India in the past, will be sought to be acquired by subterfuge, stealth and low intensity conflict.

There are now indications that New Delhi is having negotiations with Pakistan that will involve a pull back of Indian forces from the strategic heights of the Saltoro Range and the establishment of an extensive demilitarised zone. There is also talk of a "peace park" in the demilitarised area. The Government appears to be even willing to pull back without Pakistan formally and irrevocably agreeing to specify the location of the Actual Ground Position Line along the Saltoro Range, both in the text of a main agreement and in appended maps. Such "compromises" are said to be necessary to bail out an embattled Gen Musharraf, who acknowledges that his personal popularity in Pakistan is waning.

It would be virtually impossible, after any such withdrawal, to retake these areas, if the Pakistan army chooses to intrude and capture the heights in the Saltoro Range, as it did in Kargil. Is it prudent or wise to trust a dispensation that harbours and assists those who behead an Indian engineer in Afghanistan, and refuses to abide by its commitment of January 6, 2004, to end support for terrorism on its soil, on an issue involving India's territorial integrity?

The Saltoro issue needs widespread parliamentary and public debate. It should not be dealt with behind a veil of secrecy. There should be no pull back from positions of strategic advantage in the Saltoro Range, unless Pakistan agrees to authenticate existing ground positions and foolproof mechanisms are devised to ensure verification and prevention of a Kargil type intrusion in the future. As the Defence Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee stated: "If we vacate the posts and they occupy them tomorrow, how do we establish before the international community that this was what we had"?

In any case, a pull back from the Saltoro Range should take place only when agreement on a framework for a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir is reached and inked. Pakistan's then Foreign Secretary Shahryar Khan had, after all, proclaimed in November 1993 that the Kashmir and Siachen disputes were linked and could not be discussed and negotiated separately.



Wonder what is driving the NiSA and the UPA govt in making these deals? Also notice there is never a political face to these proposals. All hide behind the ex-babus. What is going on?


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 01:39 
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jr^2 here you go
Advani says Siachen pull-out would be a sell-out

[quote]
Advani says Siachen pull-out would be a sell-out

Press Trust of India
BHILWARA, May 2: The BJP today said any “ill-conceivedâ€


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 01:41 
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Quote:
As the Defence Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee stated: "If we vacate the posts and they occupy them tomorrow, how do we establish before the international community that this was what we had"?
Almost certainly, one can replace the term "international community" with "USA" ...


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 04:54 
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Rename the damn place "Rahul Gandhi Ridge".
Indian Army will never be permitted to leave...


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 14:40 
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WTF is going on? Why the hell is MMS silent all this while? Waiting for the parliament session to resume? He's also been silent on the nuclear issue. Looks like there is no one in charge! Now I'm beginning to wonder if MMS has any say in running the government at all.


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 16:36 
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jrjrao wrote:
From the Statesman (India) of May 3, 2006 Wednesday. Somebody pl. post a link if you find it:

HEADLINE: ADVANI SAYS SIACHEN PULL-OUT WOULD BE A SELL-OUT
Quote:
The BJP today said any ill-conceived pull out from Siachen would be a sell-out. Siachen cannot be treated as a stand-alone issue and any settlement should be guided by a sound strategic consideration of the countrys security and overall national interests, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mr LK Advani told reporters here...

He claimed that news reports indicate that Dr Singh wants a settlement of the Siachen issue during his proposed Pakistan visit. The imminent settlement suggests the UPA government was thinking of pulling out troops from Saltoro Ridge. Under the innovative compromise being considered by the government, India will effect a pull out from the Ridge without Pakistan agreeing to a mutually defined and demarcated Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), he said. Several think tanks and semi-official strategic affairs experts in Washington have been urging India to accept such innovations, the former BJP president claimed. Mr Advani said: The government should not gift away on diplomatic table what our soldiers have fought hard to gain in the battlefield.



Stating the obvious. I wonder how our government can be out to implement such a clutch of anti national measures?

1 - Demilitarisation
2 - Reservations of 50% in colleges
3 - Job reservations in private sector
4 - Amnesties to Naxalites


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 17:19 
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ramana wrote:
...Wonder what is driving the NiSA and the UPA govt in making these deals? Also notice there is never a political face to these proposals. All hide behind the ex-babus. What is going on?

Building deniability for their inaction or if anything goes wrong.. Classical CYA tactics.. 8)


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PostPosted: 04 May 2006 19:43 
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Folks I had said something about MMSji before and it is something to ponder.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2006 02:38 
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Anoop/Rye,

Firstly, it seems to me that there is a public debate going on, so I am not sure why people are complaining about a lack of public debate.

Secondly, let me turn things around. If you disagree with what I have said, surely you must disagree with critics like Advani and Parthasarathy who imply that a withdrawal would be acceptable if the AGPL is authenticated by the Pakistanis. In fact, my understanding is that this is the position of the army as well.

If my reading is correct, are Advani, Parthasarathy and the army also dupes? How exactly does authentication of the AGPL assure Pakistani non-aggression other than through the mechanisms I have suggested above?

P.S. People need to be civilised on this forum. Yes, B Singh, I am referring to your ridiculous tone. Grow up and learn to argue properly.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2006 05:50 
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Amitabh,

A debate is conducted by two sides discussing their positions. We have heard objections to the pull-out proposal from people outside the govt. What clarification have we heard from the NSA or MoD or the PMO? All I've heard are conflicting signals - from the MoD stating that we're far away from a deal and the NSA saying we're close to one. Neither have specified what the contours of the deal will be. I have read inspired leaks stating that Pakistan is unwilling to authenticate the AGPL and that India is willing to put that in an Annexure to overcome this "technicality". None of this constitutes a debate - it is merely confusion. Parliament has not been addressed on this issue either and if this deal has been a while cooking, then there was enough time to do so before it adjourned.

I have stated earlier that even a Pakistani authentication of an AGPL is insufficient to prevent them from seizing it. On this matter, I am merely repeating the Army line - they say that at a minimum such a condition is necessary. They do not say it is sufficient. In fact they are very clear that if Pakistan does seize the Saltoro, we will not be able to dislodge them. The only preventive measure is the one reported in the media as being discussed - Pakistani positions move back to such an extent that they take the same time to reach the Saltoro as our troops do from the new positions. What has not been mentioned is whether Pakistan has agreed to this. You may recall that the previous 7 rounds of negotiation have been stuck on this point - Pakistan has insisted on a pre-1984 location of Indian troops while claiming that they are entitled to stay where they are now under the Shimla Agreement.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2006 22:54 
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What is there to discuss? India occupies the heights, we got there, we are in place there, now Siachen is part of India, so why are we talking with Pakistan about evacuating our own land?

Yes there are harsh conditions that our soldiers go through over there, but it is needed. It is Pakistan that seems to have a problem with India being there, and enemies problems are our solutions.

If India has to vacate from Siachesn, then Pakistan should vacate its forces from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Still dont understand why Indian govt is even talking about Siachen with Pakistan? Whats next, Pakistan asking for Indian army to vacate the Punjab sector? Keep buying time, the General's grave is almost there, 2007, till then let him have some spotlight, let him think he is important.


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PostPosted: 05 May 2006 23:25 
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Anoop has already said what needed to be said, but let me just reiterate.

Amitabh wrote:
Quote:
Firstly, it seems to me that there is a public debate going on, so I am not sure why people are complaining about a lack of public debate.


What public debate? A bunch of nobodys on some random forum is not a public debate, not withstanding the fact that BRF is a popular forum, but we are not members of the GoI. Where is the "official" public debate? Whose name is going to be on the document gifting away Siachen to Pakistan? Is MMS willing to be made a scapegoat or is all this secrecy surrounding the Siachen sellout to ensure that all the necessary buttocks are covered in New Delhi/GoI?

Quote:
Secondly, let me turn things around. If you disagree with what I have said, surely you must disagree with critics like Advani and Parthasarathy who imply that a withdrawal would be acceptable if the AGPL is authenticated by the Pakistanis. In fact, my understanding is that this is the position of the army as well.


The AGPL is a minimal instrument -- it is necessary but not sufficient, as Anoop has pointed out. Where is the public details of what the paki response to the AGPL proposal is? How does India plan to enforce the AGPL if *the army has already restated that IF PAKISTAN VIOLATES THE AGPL the ARMY CANNOT RETAKE SIACHEN. PERIOD*

That alone implies that the AGPL will be just another piece of paper that will be violated by the pakis -- note how the pakis lies for DECADES about the UN resolutions requiring India to get out of J&K (ignoring that fact that they had to get out of PoK first), and the worthless response of India, which could not counter this lie until recently, and that too only because the pakis screwed themselves. There was another replay of the same unwillingness to adhere to bilateral treaties -- the shimla agreement, the pakis refuse to honor that one to this day after crawling before India to get its signature on the dotted line in 1971. Now, some fool paki armyman is tired of siachen, and Indian policymakers think that is a good enough reason to conclude that "pakis are tired of the conflict"? Should we not have higher standards for pakis before we make such conclusions? The pakis are creating terror attacks in India on a regular basis, and we are suddenly supposed to believe that they are "tired of conflict"?

Thus, given the GoI's poor history of making Pakistan adhere to treaties, why this cretinous hurry to repeat the same mistake that has been made a couple of times before with the same lying entity -- the pak army? Are we being lorded over by Amnesiacs and/or fools?

Quote:
If my reading is correct, are Advani, Parthasarathy and the army also dupes?


Advani, army and GP do not support this move. GP's most recent article on Siachen asks many of the same questions being put to you.

Quote:
How exactly does authentication of the AGPL assure Pakistani non-aggression other than through the mechanisms I have suggested above?



So basically, your claim is:

1) AGPL does not assure paki good behavior, so why bother?
2) the half-assed "mechanisms" on the Indian side seem to proclaim that India will attack pakis in PoK if the Pakis take over siachen --- never mind the niggling fact that the LoC is fenced and the AGPL being not authenticated would give the pakis plausible deniability and would give India none, if both sides violate the LoC. This is exactly why the AGPL has to be authenticated, and even then, getting out of Siachen would place more pressure on the Indian Army in order to relieve pressure from the paki army. If I did not know any better, I would imagine that Indian policies of this sort was being created by a bunch of people who cannot tell the different between a strategic interest and a hole in the ground.

Is the claim made by MMS and the NiSA that the losses to the Indian army will be less in PoK than in Siachen? If not, what kind of "policy" would seek to provide an advantage to the enemy and get more Indian soldiers killed?

There seems to be a hurry to get out of siachen based on some dimwitted notions of pakis being "tired of the conflict", when the paki army's behavior only indicates that they are not really tired of the conflict but overstretched on multiple fronts, and want some breathing room -- an ideal situation from the Indian POV to hurt that hostile entity. AND YET, the Indian PM takes the Pakistani POV and tries to reduce the pressure on the PAki Army, and talks to the paki proxies like the hurriyat rats and tries to hand over siachen to pakistan in time for his photo op in Islamabad. Why are the PM and the NiSA kissing up to our mortal enemies in the paki army? Why is the PM MMS so gung-ho on a peace process that has only created more terror in India? What gives?

Why is the rest of the political spectrum being kept in the dark in such an important issue? Why are there NO EXPLANATIONS for WHAT has changed to require us to get out of Siachen ASAP? What's the bloody hurry? And yes, we can afford to stay in Siachen for a bit more, so I do not believe money is the issue here.


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PostPosted: 06 May 2006 01:32 
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Rye wrote:
Anoop has already said what needed to be said, but let me just reiterate.
Quote:
If my reading is correct, are Advani, Parthasarathy and the army also dupes?

Advani, army and GP do not support this move. GP's most recent article on Siachen asks many of the same questions being put to you.

You are missing my point. How do you explain the following quote? That is the crux of my question. If an AGPL authentication is inadequate and no "foolproof mechanisms" exist, why would G Parthasarathy argue this?
Quote:
There should be no pull back from positions of strategic advantage in the Saltoro Range, unless Pakistan agrees to authenticate existing ground positions and foolproof mechanisms are devised to ensure verification and prevention of a Kargil type intrusion in the future.


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PostPosted: 06 May 2006 02:16 
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Amitabh quoting GP:
Quote:
There should be no pull back from positions of strategic advantage in the Saltoro Range, unless Pakistan agrees to authenticate existing ground positions and foolproof mechanisms are devised to ensure verification and prevention of a Kargil type intrusion in the future.


I agree with this statement. However, I don't think there has been a convincing case made of the response in the event of a kargil-type intrusion -- unless the costs to pakistan are immediate and severe and in public, the paki army will be tempted to try a kargil -- the paki army seems to have no aversion to very risky and stupid ideas.


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PostPosted: 07 May 2006 19:33 
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The ground positions in Kargil were well authenticated but that did not stop Mush from trying out something new. That should give us an idea of what we should expect from the Pakis.


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PostPosted: 07 May 2006 19:53 
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Quote:
unless Pakistan agrees to authenticate existing ground positions and foolproof mechanisms are devised to ensure verification and prevention of a Kargil type intrusion in the future.


That will never happen.

Heard that some US based think tanks were encouraging India on such withdrawal. It did cross my mind that the US could be planning to tie up India knowing that Pakistan will never keep such a promise or the US could always threaten India by issuing an advisory (like the travel advisory she issued a few years ago :) ) threatening to let Pakistan violate such a deal.

Unless Pakistan disbands 1/2 her army and the US stops all military aid to Pakistan such a thought is not worth it.

That India even entertains such a thought, to some extent, shows her weakness.


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PostPosted: 07 May 2006 20:27 
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Amitabh-

Many in the Army are against this pull outno matter what.

Constrained by uniform they have to mouth platitudes - but off the record - this is unacceptable at thistime and when Mush is in charge. That devious b@stard can never be trusted.


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PostPosted: 07 May 2006 21:34 
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Siachen: A Warning
The army is pretty lukewarm about demilitarising Siachen

Quote:
"It is a misnomer that we are actually battling over Siachen," says former vice-chief of army staff Lieutenant General Vijay Oberoi. The focus is on Saltoro Ridge and its strategic importance is considerable.

The Indian army sits on the ridge west of the Siachen Glacier and is in a dominating position overlooking Pakistani positions. If Indian troops pull out, it would leave Ladakh's Nubra Valley open to attack from Pakistan and offer it a gateway into the Kashmir valley through Leh. In other words, vacating the present Indian position without proper safeguards would be a military disaster.
Quote:
Another concern expressed by army headquarters pertains to the fact that the Chinese maintain a major presence in the Shaksgam Valley, a part of PoK which was "illegally ceded" to China by Pakistan. This has proved to be a major cause of worry to the army as Pakistan has been demanding that both armies withdraw to the pre-1984 lines. Which means the whole area—from the Saltoro ridge to the Nubra river in the east—becomes a demilitarised zone. This would leave India vulnerable to a China-Pak attack. For the army, such a demand is unacceptable.


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PostPosted: 07 May 2006 22:29 
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Pakistan wants the maps to be made part of the annexures without any mention of the present positions in the agreement


That says it ALL.

From a Pakistani PoV, there is no one there right now too. However, they cannot occupy the ridge too (for reasons known to us all).


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PostPosted: 08 May 2006 11:03 
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NRao wrote:
That India even entertains such a thought, to some extent, shows her weakness.


Bingo!! This is exactly what bothers me too. From time to time you have these rumours that GoI is considering some outrageously stupid decision or other, and instead of promptly shooting them down in public, MMS and Co let them just dangle there in full public view without comment.

It is entriely reasonable to fear some kind of ultra-stupid give-away simply to suck up to the Americans or something.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2006 23:02 
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Mohan Raju wrote:

Quote:
Bingo!! This is exactly what bothers me too. From time to time you have these rumours that GoI is considering some outrageously stupid decision or other, and instead of promptly shooting them down in public, MMS and Co let them just dangle there in full public view without comment.

It is entriely reasonable to fear some kind of ultra-stupid give-away simply to suck up to the Americans or something.


This Siachen withdrawal smells of a american suckup, especially with all the stupid nonsense about the PM wanting "the Siachen Deal" sealed for a photo-op to pakistan. Withdrawing from Siachen will give the pakis a new way to infiltrate jihadis via Leh, and the dumbos in charge of Indian Security want to let that happen WITHOUT AUTHENITICATING THE AGPL PHYSICALLY!!!

Apparently, dealing with the pakis for 3 decades is not enough to give these "leaders" pause about paki behavior when it comes to violating bilateral agreements, or complaining about INDIA being the one violating the agreement even when there is no violation (as in the Indus Water Treaty). And these jokers are supposed to lead 1 billion Indians to "great power" status (to use Texmati's words)? Why does that defy credibility?


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PostPosted: 08 May 2006 23:13 
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Quote:
smells of a american suckup


I would not go that far. Heard that there were some think tanks encouraging India. GOTUS could be behind it too, but nothing official seems to have surfaced - so far. (I could be dated.)

There are two things that rile me:
1. There seems to be some urgency in getting THIS "deal" completed before meeting Mush. When in hell did Mush, the architect of Kargil, become this important, specially in India?
2. One thing at a time - get the civilian nuclear deal with the US first. Then refer #1


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PostPosted: 09 May 2006 04:25 
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Does anyone else think that, Instead of Unkil it may be china behind all this faracas. Is pakistan the real beneficiary of this withdrawl or is it chinese who will ultimately benefit from it. Right Now, Our position give us some advantage over karakoram HWY. If we leave and pakistani's move in, what if Mushy will immediately gifts that area of chinese, it makes it defacto territory of china, where chinese will breath down our neck. Chinese will have direct road access to Arabian Gulf, they will be able to move men and material at rapid pace. IA will be stretched thin just to counter chinese threat, that will reduce pressure on western front, pakis will have more freedom, renewed vigor to escalate Jihadism. Maoist of Nepal will gladly oblige their chinese masters and create trouble for India along border. What a wonderful picture.
Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China a quartet breathing down from all sides. Smelling blood, Sri Lankans side with chinese and Pakis to launch offensive against Tamil Tigers. Myanmar starts helping Nagas in their struggles against Indian Union. China doesn't want direct confrontation with US, let her underlings do her dirty work. If this scenario pans out, China will become undisputed power of Asia. Forget about IPI pipeline it will be more like IPC pipeline.

What will Indian Leadership do...It is best answered by ASPuar.


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PostPosted: 09 May 2006 05:27 
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Karan,

For what it is worth and for better or worse, there are a few things we share with the US. The threat from that scenario, IMHO, is one that we share with them.

It is for that reason I feel that the Chinese would not be interested in taking over that area - certainly they would love for TSP to control it and get access to the sea - (via BD too) - as you state.

Frankly, from a threat perspective I am a lot more concerned about Indian politicians (what we will not do) than either TSP or Chicom plans(what they will do).


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PostPosted: 10 May 2006 00:52 
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Karan wrote:
Quote:
Does anyone else think that, Instead of Unkil it may be china behind all this faracas. Is pakistan the real beneficiary of this withdrawl or is it chinese who will ultimately benefit from it. Right Now, Our position give us some advantage over karakoram HWY. If we leave and pakistani's move in, what if Mushy will immediately gifts that area of chinese, it makes it defacto territory of china, where chinese will breath down our neck. Chinese will have direct road access to Arabian Gulf, they will be able to move men and material at rapid pace.


This raises the question: what is in it for the US to support china to gain access to Gwadar --- are they just trying to make Mushy's musharraf more secure, given all the troubles he's got right now.


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PostPosted: 10 May 2006 18:42 
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Can I ask a basic question: If Pakistan is not willing to mark the AGPL, isn't that evidence enough of bad intentions? What more evidence does India need that Siachen should not be vacated?

Can someone comment on this, please.

s


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PostPosted: 10 May 2006 19:15 
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Surinder,

There are at least four parties to (pretty much all) Indo-Pak problem: India, Pakistan, US and the rest (Japan for instance when Pakis say "nukes" and some Islamic states when it comes to Kashmir - not that all are equally important, etc).

Then there is a concept called "confidence building" - which is defined differently by each.

Then there is a lapse of memory on the part of Pakistan and the US - for instance Kargil - people outside India seem to behave as though it never happened. (Forget marking maps, I would not withdraw just based on Kargil - period. Why even think of withdrawing?)

Now we SEEM to have US think tanks (which have not been cleaned for eons - the tanks that is) that appear to be getting into the act of mediating or whatever.

Just too many cooks.

But, IMHO, the problem is mostly with India - that we have put ourselves in this predicament. The fact that such things linger without resolutions and that the Pakis can afford to keep coming back with a broken record shows some amount of impotency from an "open source" PoV.

JMTs.


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