Siachen News & Discussion

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 12 May 2012 23:35

Thank you for reinforcing what I was talking about. Those who get off on protocol and the power of the pen wouldn't dare imagine capitalising on the opportunity brought forward by the avalanche because the government is already engaged in dialogue. Nevermind the fact that the Siachen proposal was put forward by MMS a long, long time ago and the Pakistan army only woke up to it the day after the avalanche. What will the world say if we were now to cash in on the lottery ticket. Chi chi.

Europe has tree huggers and India has textbook huggers. Rejoice. So busy hugging textbooks and putting "full and ready plans to compensate" into place that no time is necessary in acknowledging past failures in decision making, e.g. the Parliament attack or the Mumbai attack, and no time is available in predicting future failures for the same reasons. Time is only available for adding more pages to the rule book and for giving territory away.
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 12 May 2012 23:39

Gentlemen,

WRT Lt. General Raghavan, or any ex-servicemen for that matter of fact, and his views on Siachen, please feel free to disagree with him and his views but do not indulge in name calling and WKK stuff. He has served this country enough and then some more to deserve respect. Hear him out, counter his views if you have any, back them up with assertion and engage him. But simply hand waving and saying he is doing this for gaining limelight and money and all that is indicative of one's lack of depth on the subject and general shallowness of views.

I can extend the same tag to ShauryaT or Sudeepj but simply shout them down - but doing so would be loss to the forum for is it exactly because of their contrary views that so much about the topic has come out in the open. I'd like to convince them about my POV based on logic and reasoning. And in the bargain, each one learns something. Hope people keep this in mind.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 12 May 2012 23:50

rohitvats ji, I'm not sure if your post is addressed to me but I didn't tag any ex-servicemen as WKK types. I have said though that one ex-serviceman's view is only as good as the contrary view from another ex-serviceman. The existence of a liberal view from an ex-serviceman in itself isn't decisive. The territory isn't for any ex-serviceman to give away. These ex-servicemen defended the territory for a reason and the territory needs to be retained for the same reason.

Let us contrast the Indian desire to justify the retention of its own territory with the most recent Chinese demarche:

“10 May 2012: Don’t attempt to take away half an inch of China’s territory”

By the way, the Chinese are referring to territory that is neither rightfully theirs nor do they presently possess.

How deep is the liberal's head buried?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 13 May 2012 00:00

^^^And I'm all game for it. There are officers which have opposite view on the subject and each one of us has used those views to further our argument(s). That is all right. For example, I'm all for demilitarization of Siachen but agree 100% with Lt. General PC Katoch's views on the topic. If we must pull back, it should not be at any cost to the nation - short terms or long term.

But just because someone has contrary views, it does not mean that he/she is a sell out. One can extend at least this much courtesy to the other. More so, if it is some one like Raghavan.

Digressing a bit here - This recent debate about Siachen is debate about the ideas and thought process - the actual WKK brigade wants to sell the line that Siachen is useless and we can come down without any fear of long terms consequences. Now, we can either sit smugly and call such people useless and be done with it. But doing so means that their thought process gains traction and we end up with a situation which we know is detrimental to the national interest. The other way to tackle this is to engage people and show how hollow their arguments are - and this can be done only by engaging. I personally believe that by engaging with sudeepj and ShauryaT, we have been able to bring out detailed information on the topic - information which BRF members and visitors can use in case they are required to defend their POV.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Satya_anveshi » 13 May 2012 00:12

PratikDas wrote:Nevermind the fact that the Siachen proposal was put forward by MMS a long, long time ago and the Pakistan army only woke up to it the day after the avalanche


But then you have to assume that Z would visit India to discuss issues without clearance from K. I don't think that is a fair assumption.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 13 May 2012 00:16

Satya_anveshi wrote:
PratikDas wrote:Nevermind the fact that the Siachen proposal was put forward by MMS a long, long time ago and the Pakistan army only woke up to it the day after the avalanche


But then you have to assume that Z would visit India to discuss issues without clearance from K. I don't think that is a fair assumption.

As if Zardari's statements have any currency. Please be fair to me as well. All engagements with Zardari are useless for all intents and purposes unless the Pakistan Army concurs as well. The only time their army opened their mouths was after the avalanche.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby abhijitm » 13 May 2012 00:47

ShauryaT wrote:
abhijitm wrote:Please spare me from your phoney respect to our military. You and those who say siachen bear no strategic value are the one who are belittling the sacrifrice our brave soldiers have made for our country. You are saying a thousand soldiers die on siachen for nothing! And not only that but you are challengic collective intelligence of our army, generals who decided to stay put for decades. Thus you are directly accusing the generals from then to now of either negligence or conciously misleding GoI and civilians, and hence responsible for the death of thousand precious soldiers. A court martial offense, dont you think?

The above post is nothing but a gross misrepresentations of the arguments put forward.

Please enlighten me how do you interpret role of our generals if you think that siachen bears no strategic value. And also who is accountable for death of thousand soldiers?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 13 May 2012 02:07

Recently, it has been claimed by certain usual suspects that IA erred in 1984 by taking the Saltoro and instead, should have gone for Dansam. For general reference, Dansam is the HQ of 323 Bde of PA - the nodal Bde for Siachen.Dansam is important as it controls access to middle and southern glaciers from Northern Areas. The argument goes that by only taking Dansam, IA could have prevented war on Saltoro. Counter argument by Lt. General Chibber that taking only Dansam was not feasible and would have meant an attack on Pakistan itself. Also, holding Dansam is not possible w/o ensuring control of territory towards its west at least up to Khaplu.

Introductions done, now let us get down to the nitty-gritty of of this brilliant proposal by the experts.

To begin with, go to map here: http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=35.1786731&lon=76.4042419&z=10&l=0&m=t. The LOC can be seen as dotted line in south-east section of the map. This is terrain version of the map; satellite version can be chosen from the Map Type icon on top left.

(1). Taking Dansam - Most obvious question - how do you reach that place? The easier land route is along the Shyok river valley and then turn east from Khaplu. Other is through Chalunka-Chulung La-Goma-Dansam. Third is to roll down Bilafond La.

The Shyok valley has been guarded since 1971 and any progress along this route would mean that taking Khaplu would have to be an objective. Which would have meant an all out war? Was this possible? And mind you, Khaplu is "only" ~48kms from LOC on Shyok.

Coming to Chalunka-Chulung La-Goma-Dansam axis, well, how swift does one think the advance along this axis would have been? Chulung La from Chalunka is couple of days march. And we also need to remember one very important thing - Remember, we beat PA by one week to the passes? Well, PA would have been sitting on this very axis preparing to mount an advance on the Saltoro. Do people think that any sort of confidentiality* could have been maintained by *preparing* to advance along these two axis?

Another important factor - what would have been the force ratio required? IA would have needed to induct at least a division to mountain any sort of assault on Dansam along the above two axis of advance.

By deciding to take Saltoro, we could maintain surprise and use minimum troops to take the passes - by taking the heights we ensured that PA needed those obscene assault:defender ratios and not us. Any effort to take Dansam would have required willingness to accept and take the conflict to higher plane of all out war. Did we have time and resource and more important, political will?

*(When the Saltoro war heated up in late 80s, there was an instance of a Muslim women (in the Shyok Valley - Turtok I guess) using a wireless set giving out locations of Indian positions to PA - PA artillery brought down accurate fire and we lost couple of officers and jawans. Till 1971, villages in Turtok sector were in Northern Areas and still have affiliation across the LOC)

(2) Air Assault - this is another fanciful explanation - question - how many Mi-8 helicopters did India have in 1984 to mount any large scale offensive? Another point - remember, PA in the area part - IA would have landed in the middle of PA. There would have been troops to east preparing to assault the Saltoro Passes and towards west from Skardu (home to 62 Bde of PA). And finally - how would have IA linked up with the air assault force? Remember Jaffna University fiasco or Operation Market Garden in WW2? Unless one can link up with heliborne troops or paratroopers in definite time frame, they are a dead meat. After all, PA would have rushed in reinforcements in double quick time from Skardu.

(3) Maintaining Dansam - please look up the map linked once again. How does one maintain Dansam without taking the dominating heights all around? The importance of heights in these areas is best exemplified by our own Sub-Sector West (SSW) centered on Turtok. We control the heights to north, west and south of it. PA has repeatedly tried to outflank this sector by taking dominating heights - in the above map, just type "Turtuk Lungpa" in search window...this is valley going south from Turtok and can be seen on the map. The heights south of Turtok form the Gulab complex of IA. PA has tried in the past to take dominating heights in this area and then roll down Turtuk Lungpa to outflank the Turtok village. Even in 1999, one of the main reasons to secure Chorbat La (type this in search window in the map and location becomes visible) was to ensure that no threat develops to Turtok Lungpa and Turtok.

Now, using the above logic, look at the position of Dansam and please ask yourself this - which all areas would have IA to secure to ensure the survive ability of Dansam?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 13 May 2012 03:26

Excellent post Rohit, but you should not hesitate to give 'credit' where it is due. The Dansam idea was put forward by Pravin Sawhney, here:-
http://forcenewsmagazine.blogspot.com/2 ... prise.html

the other thing that Sawhney does not realize is, its one thing to take over an uninhabited ridge that does not affect your populace in any way, its quite another to take over areas previously administered by a different govt. It would have meant full fledged war, at a time when Punjab was at boiling point, Kashmir was simmering, LTTE in the South, and Pakistan and USA collaboration at the highest level in history. People forget what a tumultuous time it was.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 13 May 2012 10:40

^^^Actually, that is one hatchet job of an article with reasoning all over the place. I did not want to link for ensuring they don't get any more eyeballs. It seems that PS uses his magazine and his "expert" comments to snipe at IA and certain people. And then you have the bimbo posing as some sort of strategic analyst. She does not difference between SSW and Sub-Sector Haneef (SSH) but seems all right to preach to the army. BS of the highest order.

Coming to defense of Ladakh and forces in being under 14 Corps, well, one Independent Mountain Bde and one Independent Armored Bde have been sanctioned. IMO, the (I) Mountain Bde group is for SSN - given the geography of that sector, it will need to be held as an independent and self-sustained sector. The geography is such that not much lateral movement between sectors can be expected.

Armored Bde is necessary to ensure that we can check any adventure across Spanggur Gap and along the Indus as it enters from Dhemchok. This axis (Dhemchok-Leh) can sustain fairly large scale thrust from the Chinese. But I also believe that 14 Corps is in requirement of additional troops to rationalize the AOR and have adequate reserves in the area itself. Also, 3 Division needs to scale up from 2 x Infantry Bde structure to 3 x Infantry Bdes and 14 Corps should have dual tasked Division level reserve north of the Zoji La. As of now, the reserves will have to come from Northern Command kitty.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby member_22906 » 13 May 2012 11:07

http://orbat.com/site/news.html

Letter from Nithin Kumar on General Kiyani and the Siachin Glacier I have different theory. Just to clarify I am no military expert and my theory is based on what is publicly available.

The avalanche hit a very important base for the Pakistan Army. A major staging area with tons of supplies. Supplies which would very crucial for survival of PA troops on Saltoro. As I far I understand, with the base gone, it would be very difficult to sustain the troops on Saltoro. The clearup could take months. Sustaining the Saltoro position during this time, would require supplies that has to be brought from lower bases or through choppers. This increases PA expenses exponentially. And he knows that it is pointless to spend so much on area where PA is at disadvantage and for troops who are just sitting there, without firing a shot!

Secondly, with the base gone, he will not be able to defend a Indian push (not that Indian Army will be allowed to by Government of India) further down/west. By using the "peace at Siachen" PR and Indian media, he want to pre-empt any IA ops.

Setting up a alternate HQ on the same place is not possible as tons of fuel(kerosene, aviation fuel) and ammunition is buried in the snow. If the ammo explode, there will be another avalanche carrying the entire base downwards. Imagine what will happen, if the fuel ignite or leaks downstream. Hence PA has to either abandon the area or clear the area completely, which is time consuming and very expensive. Add to this expenses of supplies to forward position.

Fundamentally, PA has lost the Saltaro conflict. They dont have money left for the fight.


Interesting perspective. Sorry if already posted

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 13 May 2012 11:43

AS, in fact one of the reason's Kayani could have sung the peace song was to preempt any Indian move to advance from their positions on Saltoro. Ghyari is (was) a major supply base for the positions in the Central Sector around Bilafond La. Apart from the food and other supplies, it was the source of Kerosene for the entire sector - w/o kerosene, you're as good as dead. You need fuel to heat the residential areas, cook food and melt ice for water. With Ghyari and its fuel dump gone (the fuel dump is source of toxic fumes), maintaining forward troops would have become nightmare scenario for the PA - and they don't have that many helicopter assets as IA or IAF.

Another important point - the 6 NLI Company and BHQ which got wiped out would have been the High Altitude Acclimatized Reserve (HAAR)- these troops would have been acclimatized and rotated to forward posts to relieve their colleagues after the posting period. With HAAR gone, the forward troops will need to be there that much longer.

PA has its task cut-out here.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby member_22906 » 13 May 2012 11:54

^^
Its a tactical masterstroke by Kayani in that case to ensure IA doesnt gain from the avalanche.

Me thinks its now more the reason for us to stay put there to put pressure on their limited resources and expose their lie

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby harbans » 13 May 2012 12:21

One thing i have always found strange since 48. From a little North of Kupwara to Kargil, India drew the LOC almost running East till NJ 9842. The PA so called irregulars could not have been physically all over the place defending every strategic ridge. Somewhere in between itself we should have run a line straight up along the mapped ridges right north, possibly even a ridge or two off Skardu. But that would have resulted in no ceding off Shaksgam valley. In hindsight maybe it's easier to say..but it always has puzzled me, why we accepted the LOC when physical battles for control were mostly in the South Eastern sectors off the valley area.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Arunkumar » 13 May 2012 12:55

^^^
IMO after skardu fell, priority was to defend kargil-ladakh. With limited resources there was a trade-off on what positions can be sustained logistically.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 13 May 2012 13:51

harbans wrote:One thing i have always found strange since 48. From a little North of Kupwara to Kargil, India drew the LOC almost running East till NJ 9842. The PA so called irregulars could not have been physically all over the place defending every strategic ridge. Somewhere in between itself we should have run a line straight up along the mapped ridges right north, possibly even a ridge or two off Skardu. But that would have resulted in no ceding off Shaksgam valley. In hindsight maybe it's easier to say..but it always has puzzled me, why we accepted the LOC when physical battles for control were mostly in the South Eastern sectors off the valley area.


harbans, as every where else, the war in mountains was also about controlling the centers of gravity.

The area being a high mountain country, the population level is low and such centers of gravity are few. So, after Skardu, the next center of gravity was Leh. Another important point is about axis of advance - the same can happen only along river valleys. So, from Skardu, there were (are) two routes to Leh - one is along Shyok and other along Indus. While coming along Indus, PA had captured Kargil as well there by breaking the land link between Srinagar and Leh. This is when the airlift to Leh happened.

For us to draw a straight CF line, we needed to move west and take important centers like Skardu and other villages along the Indus/Shyok Valleys. And while CFL/LOC was forged with arms, please remember up till now, no one defended most of the areas - the CFL was drawn along the ridges (not necessarily watershed) with due reference to the territory held by each party on either side of the ridge.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby harbans » 13 May 2012 15:02

Rohit you are right it's a center of gravity kind of balance we saw, but that is exactly what puzzles me. The lines we drew along the CGs (population centers) was very much off. We left 30-40 k sq km of unihabited mountainous, glacier regions in Pakistani hands. Kargil to Skardu there is an 80- 100 km gap of nothing..but we chose to draw the LOC barely 5 km from population centers in our control in Kupwara, KArgil. I am actually seeing your terrain map you posted above as reference. And east of Skardu we've left hundreds of square kms. How Paki's were able to put that much military initiative into regions where maximum a small mountainous road would be the connecting point. Something does not seem right. We seem to have abandoned tens of thousands of sq km in a hurry to chalk out a LOC.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 13 May 2012 21:16

The war in 1947 started with Princely state of J&K and with newly created perfidy called Pakistan. India refused to intervene without signing if IOA. War started , officially few days before IOA was signed on 26th Oct 1947. By the time India sent its forces , Kabayalis and Irregulars of Paki Army were on the outskirts of Srinagar and Airport was under shelling. Since its creation , Pakistan which got forces inserted into Gilgit Muzaffarabad and Skardu had no difficulty in capturing these major township in what is now POK. J&K forces were no match for British trained Army. This was despite Sardar cautioned JLN several times. CFL was the outcome of JLN desire to make peace with snakeling which had just born.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby harbans » 14 May 2012 03:39

I agree, Chanakyaa, except, that the line which we drew..was 99% not a cease fire line. We just abandoned 10000sq km of glacier and beautiful mountainous ranges for nothing. The CG as Rohit ji defines is not reflected in the possessions. We gave them so much for nothing and are fighting for a few square mile of glacier? JLN screwed things up for sure, what prevents later generations from at the minimum saying we don't accept these claims?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 14 May 2012 06:24

harbans wrote:One thing i have always found strange since 48. From a little North of Kupwara to Kargil, India drew the LOC almost running East till NJ 9842. The PA so called irregulars could not have been physically all over the place defending every strategic ridge. Somewhere in between itself we should have run a line straight up along the mapped ridges right north, possibly even a ridge or two off Skardu. But that would have resulted in no ceding off Shaksgam valley. In hindsight maybe it's easier to say..but it always has puzzled me, why we accepted the LOC when physical battles for control were mostly in the South Eastern sectors off the valley area.
Harbans, they (Gilgit scouts, Pashtun Lashkars, PA Regulars) were all over the place, about 2000 strong with MMG's and mortars, while 1 Patiala had only three MMG's with them and they defended valiantly against overwhelming odds in the spring and summer of 1948.. Our forces did not fully control Zoji La and Dras and Kargil were in control of the opposing forces. It was only after a road was built to move tanks to Zoji La and with additional reinforcements, were we able to then defend Leh in a robust manner and take over Dras and Kargil. Bu, by that time, our time was up. Our dear PM, gave us our 60 year and running LoC.

There are BRM and other articles and books with much detail on the issue. But specifically, towards your question, i find these two maps linked here to depict a pictorial map of Operation Duck.

http://mangalorean.com/browsearticles.p ... cleid=1628
Last edited by ShauryaT on 14 May 2012 06:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 14 May 2012 06:27

abhijitm wrote:Please enlighten me how do you interpret role of our generals if you think that siachen bears no strategic value. And also who is accountable for death of thousand soldiers?
No interest in responding, if my statements are not fully quoted and taken out of context.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 14 May 2012 06:51

On taking Dansam, it was a different ball game from Op Meghdoot. Different objective, risk profile, resources needed to attain the objective. No question that even if Dansam was lightly defended at that time and even if an air operation to Dansam could have been executed a larger operation along the Shyok to control Khaplu would have been essential. If not total all out war, it would be a larger local war as opposed to the unopposed occupation of Saltoro. There are pros and cons to all decisions.

What we do not "know" is what options did the high level defense planners provide with these pros and cons of various operations and present to the political authorities. How did these authorities arrive at a decision. IF such alternatives were not presented at all, then that would be a something to ask, why were such plans not presented, especially since the IA was preparing for 1-2 years. If plans were presented, how did the political authorities make their call. We can suspect the larger environment based on which political authority made their decisions but for the record it should be something that should be known, in due course.

Is it not fair to speculate that although Dansam, most likely would have been a more prolonged affair, it would have been less costly from a men and materials perspective over the longer term. It would have made a mockery of our legalistic stances and certified India as the aggressive power for sure. All this is a lot of hindsight and who knows, it would have completely failed and PA would be occupying Saltoro and the Glaciers.
The KKH was a new linkup to China and knowing this, was an operation the Skardu ever seriously explored? It seems, we did explore a few years down the line with Op. Gibraltar? I personally doubt that such a major objective such as Skardu can be taken in surprise, especially in these days of C^4I.

I think my only question is, were alternatives seriously explored by both the political and defense planners at that time? Everything that I read and assess about the way GoI thinks on the matter says NO.
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 14 May 2012 07:33

Getting real on Siachen
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9 ... n-Siachen#
AssZaddah

If that was the reason for India’s inflexibility on Siachen, a solution could still have been found. But India’s real considerations, as articulated by several official and unofficial spokesmen of the Indian establishment, are quite different.First, in the opinion of many Indian defence analysts, Siachen is a great strategic prize because of its location at the Pakistan-India-China tri-junction. India’s control of the Saltoro Ridge, in this view, prevents Pakistan and China from joining up through the Karakoram Pass at Xaidulla (Shahidullah) on the Kashgar-Xigatse road, the main Chinese route between Xinjiang and Tibet that runs through Aksai Chin. Such a linkup between Pakistan and China, in the imagination of India’s armchair strategists, could threaten India’s control of Ladakh. Besides, the possession of the Saltoro Fidge also gives India strategic high ground over Gilgit-Baltistan. Vikram Sood, a former RAW chief, writes that the “China factor” was not so evident in 1984 when India seized Siachen, but it is much more important now in view of the larger Chinese footprint in the area and China’s “strategic interest” in Gilgit-Baltistan. In this connection, Sood points to the widening of the Karakoram Highway and reported plans of a rail link with Pakistan and an oil and gas pipeline from Gwadar to Xinjiang.Second, India’s possession of Siachen strengthens India’s hand in any eventual Kashmir settlement with Pakistan based on the status quo, in keeping with the maxim that “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” Siachen should therefore be the “last issue on the table, not the first.”Third, Indira Col, in the northern-most part of the Saltoro Ridge, directly overlooks the Shaksgam valley “that was illegally ceded by Pakistan to China” in the 1963 border agreement. India’s control of this ridge, in the words of one Indian expert, enables India to “legitimately and effectively dispute the illegal Chinese presence there.”
Most of these arguments are far-fetched and some are quite fanciful, but together they constitute a formidable obstacle to a settlement. Kanwal Sibal, a former foreign secretary, asked rhetorically in a recent article: “Why withdraw...and lose available defence depth?” Evidently, the concept of “strategic depth” is not a Pakistani monopoly. Sood also warns that India should “not repeat the strategic mistakes of the past, like halting our advance at Uri in 1948 or not capturing Skardu; or giving up Haji Pir in 1966; or returning 93,000 troops and territory in 1972.”
The next round of talks on the Siachen issue will be held in June in Islamabad. The positions of the two sides remain far apart and little progress can be expected. As the army chief has pointed out, the Indian position has hardened. In addition to the “authentication” of troop positions on the ground, India is now also demanding a “demarcation” of the Line of Control in the Siachen sector. The Indian aim evidently is to get a legitimisation of its occupation of Siachen in violation of the Simla Agreement. While formally denying that there had been any hardening of the Indian stand, Indian defence minister A K Antony has in fact not only confirmed the substance of Kayani’s remarks but gone beyond that. In a statement in the Indian parliament last Tuesday, Antony declared that the two sides had to agree first on “authentication” of the respective troop positions along the Saltoro Ridge, then on the “delineation” of these positions on the map and finally on the “demarcation” of the agreed border on the ground. This, Antony said, was India’s long-standing national position, not government position. Given this stand, no movement is expected in the next round of talks. As The Financial Times of London wrote, hopes of new thinking in India on Siachen seem as remote as the prospects of pulling anyone out alive from Gayari. Pakistani analysts who speak of Siachen being a low-hanging fruit need to wake up. In negotiations with India, there is no such thing.
The question for our policymakers is: What is to be done? The answer is not difficult. First, we need to realise that unilateral concessions such as those Pakistan has made on trade with India and of the type that Nawaz has been pushing for on Siachen and the visa regime will get us nowhere. Diplomacy is about give-and-take in a way that satisfies all parties. Our leaders need to learn this elementary lesson. Even at this stage, it is not too late to review our decision to grant MFN status to India without reciprocity on the part of Delhi. Getting freedom for Khalil Chishti is not enough. The least we should demand as a precondition for opening our market to Indian goods is that India first dismantle its non-tariff barriers against Pakistan. Second, we should raise in international forums the issue of the environmental damage being caused by the Indian deployment in Siachen. It is a serious threat to the glaciers which feed the Indus River, Pakistan’s lifeline. Pakistan has to bear the environmental and health consequences of the human and military waste that the Indian deployment produces. Every single drop of water from the Siachen glacier eventually flows into Pakistan. As an upper riparian, albeit through illegal occupation, India is under international obligation not to pollute the water flowing downstream. India’s recent experimentation with geothermal energy in the area adds a new and extremely serious dimension to this problem. To make our case effectively, we should collect data to measure the damage that India is causing and to quantify India’s financial liability for making it good.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby manjgu » 14 May 2012 07:52

ShauryaT.... i would recommend u to read one of my earlier posts where i had mentioned my conv with Gen Hoon..and highlighted this very point..


operations beyond saltoro were planned and presented to Mrs Gandhi. But she refused operations beyond saltoro as being politically incorrect in the sense, it violated the LOC. In capturing Saltoro , we were not violating LOC and so permission was granted. Please do ur reading properly before commenting.

Pray , how were you so sure that the political leadership and defence planners did not plan/asses all alternatives?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Vipul » 19 May 2012 22:18

India and the fight for the Rose Garden.

On 7 April, 120 Pakistani soldiers perished after an avalanche hit their base at Gayari near the Siachen glacier. On a visit to the area, Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, pointed to the futility of occupying those forbidding heights. Soon enough, liberal opinion in both countries latched on his statement and mounted pressure to “demilitarize” that area. Next month, India and Pakistan are to hold talks on the subject. In the meantime, Islamabad has postponed discussions on another contentious subject—the Sir Creek dispute (on the Kutch-Sindh border between the two countries). Siachen—or the Rose Garden, as it is known locally—many expect is a “doable” idea. It hardly is.

India established its troops in the Siachen glacier (and also key passes on the Saltoro ridge to the west of Siachen glacier) in 1984 after Pakistan indulged in what can only be described as “cartographic aggression”. Since then, India has held the high ground, making it difficult for Pakistan to seize area and initiative there. This, however, has not prevented military adventures by ambitious Pakistani soldiers. India has lost thousands of soldiers in the world’s highest battleground. The cost—men, material and treasure—has been formidable. If it withdraws now, these will be in waste.

Operational reasons apart, India has to contend with Pakistan’s diplomatic and military strategy which, for obvious reasons, is geared at securing the area for itself. Roughly, Islamabad’s idea of a “solution” includes the following elements. First, it wants redeployment away from the glacier/zone of contention. This is to be followed by noting of redeployed positions and creation of mechanisms/procedures for monitoring, etc, by experts. Finally, the Line of Control (LoC) beyond point NJ9842—the last map reference point till which the LoC is demarcated—is to be demarcated by an agreed process.

The problem is: this is hardly a solution. India wants the existing positions of the two countries in that area recorded. If this is not done and the procedure listed above is followed, it will fritter away its only advantage: its physical occupation of the Saltoro ridge. Pakistan rejects any demarcation of existing positions as it feels this will bestow a “legal” right on India to claim this territory. The farthest it has gone towards agreeing with India is agree to record the ground positions on a map—to be included as an annexure in an agreement—while the text of the agreement continues to spell extant claims.

There is danger in undertaking such a course of action. Even if India agrees to withdraw, there is no guarantee that Pakistan will not take over those heights after India vacates what it currently occupies. If anything, the military situation points to alarming possibilities.

Siachen and the Saltoro ridge, from the Pakistani side, are under the command of the Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) based in Gilgit, which in turn is controlled by X Corps based in Rawalpindi. Most Pakistani military adventures at gaining advantage in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) owe their origins to the peculiar “strategic culture” of this military formation. Two examples illustrate this point. In 1992, FCNA launched a daring mission to counter India, and hopefully, recover positions in the Siachen area. The operation failed, but just so. Then, in the spring of 1999, when one could smell détente in the air, an ambitious and rash military operation was launched to seize strategic advantage in J&K, this time in Kargil. Once again, the FCNA and X Corps leadership was intimately involved.

Scholarly opinion in Pakistan and elsewhere affirms this state of affairs. Three experts—Peter Lavoy, Feroz Hassan Khan and Christopher Clary—state that “in particular, no existing explanation adequately explores the crucial driver of conflict: the unique strategic culture of the Pakistan army, in general, and the X Corps and FCNA, in particular”. They add, “The X Corps and FCNA were particularly embarrassed by the loss of the Siachen Glacier, which was undemarcated and unoccupied until 1984 when India launched Operation Meghdoot to capture it… Regardless of the actual circumstances, FCNA was held responsible for the loss of Siachen and other significant Indian incursions on the Pakistani side of the LoC… Officers posted to FCNA are quickly socialized to remember the past and at all costs defend their area of responsibility. They would rather be reprimanded for over-aggressiveness than leave a perceived vulnerability unprotected.” (“Pakistan’s motivations and calculations for the Kargil conflict”, pages 66-67 in Asymmetric Warfare in South Asia: The Causes and Consequences of the Kargil Conflict edited by Peter Lavoy, Cambridge University Press, 2009). Clearly, these soldiers will do whatever they can to recover territory, honour and prestige.

Seen thus, there is a tight fit between Pakistan’s political objectives and its military outlook. Its legal position—no agreement to demarcate the existing ground position—is suited for exploiting military opportunities should they arise at a later date, as they surely will, if India withdraws.

When seen in the light of these factors, withdrawal from the heights it occupies will be foolhardy for India. Given a recurring pattern of ambitious generals and “visible opportunities”, coupled with Pakistan’s woefully inadequate political oversight over its armed forces, it is a given that Islamabad will try and snatch what is currently under Indian control.History has proved that twice
.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 20 May 2012 23:34

^^^Excellent article. It brings forth the most important point which we need to guard against in any understanding with PA.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 21 May 2012 01:34

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... 5769.story
For troops on Siachen Glacier, the elements are the enemy
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Icy wind whipped Lt. Nauman Ahmed's face as he plodded up a barren expanse of snowfields and crevasses. Woozy and spent, he reached a Pakistani military outpost 20,000 feet above sea level and slumped down on a cot in one of the camp's fiberglass igloos.The next morning, the peril of waging war in the world's highest conflict zone began to take its toll. His head throbbed, and he was coughing up blood. When he tried to speak, he couldn't form words."I thought to myself, 'What is happening to me?'" Ahmed, now 30 and a retired captain, says eight years later. "It's such a difficult place to live.... [b]On Siachen Glacier, we never know whether we will be around the next day :eek: We'd push them off a peak, then they'd push us off a peak, but nothing significant happened," said Ali Kuli Khan Khattak, a retired Pakistani general who commanded forces in Siachen and the rest of far northern Pakistan in the late 1980s and mid-1990s. "So take it from me, it's one of the most futile things to do. No war is very clever, but this one probably takes the cake."The Siachen conflict has its roots in a 1984 incursion by Indian troops into a section of Kashmir, a region claimed by both India and Pakistan and the focus of two of their three wars and one smaller military conflict.

For most of Kashmir, a Line of Control demarcates the areas administered by each country. But that line stops roughly 40 miles south of Siachen. India's troop movement onto the glacier prompted Pakistan to reciprocate with its own deployment, and the standoff endures.You couldn't stay there a long time, because of the lack of oxygen," said Khalid Kuli Khan Khattak, Gen. Khattak's son and a retired captain who spent a year at Siachen. "When you hiked, you had to acclimatize every 1,000 feet you go. Camp out a night, then go up another 1,000 feet."Nothing is easy on Siachen. The lack of oxygen makes cooking impractical, so soldiers mostly live on canned lentils. With no hot water, troops bath once a month in summer, and never in winter."And you're wearing clothes for a month, without change," Khalid Khattak said. "So lots of people would get lice." After a few months, the soldiers' goose-down parkas would blacken with soot from the kerosene stoves that heated their igloos.Skirmishes with Indian troops happened fairly regularly when Khalid Khattak was deployed at Siachen in 1998. But they usually were brief exchanges. And there was an unwritten rule: Both sides relied heavily on military helicopters for everything from the replenishment of supplies to evacuation of injured or sick troops, so "most of the time, we wouldn't fire at helicopters, and vice versa," Ali Khattak said.[/b]

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby chanakyaa » 21 May 2012 05:57

?........

The dangers Indian soldiers face on Siachen mirror those mountaineers encounter when tackling Everest. At 20,000 feet, the oxygen level is about half that at sea level. The air is so cold that bare skin can bind to steel within seconds. Yawning crevasses make trekking from post to post treacherous. In avalanche-prone areas, soldiers limit hiking to nighttime, never in the morning or afternoon, when sunlight loosens massive walls of snow packed higher on the slopes.

Altitude sickness is an ever-present peril. A lack of oxygen can cause fluid to leak from capillaries and build up either in the brain (cerebral edema) or in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Both are life-threatening.

Nothing is easy on Siachen. The lack of oxygen makes cooking impractical, so soldiers mostly live on canned lentils. With no hot water, troops bath once a month in summer, and never in winter.
........


Salute to our troops who defend our interests while going through a physical torture. Growing we learned a lot about history, but no one taught us about th sacrifices of soldiers. Doubt if the scum politician know anything about living in an env itch 50% less oxygen and eating can food...

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 21 May 2012 19:54

Siachen Demilitarisation: Misunderstood Concept

Ever since General Kayani, the Pakistan army chief, made a statement seeking peaceful co-existence with India and pushed for the demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone, the commentary that has been published on the subject in India has been mostly negative. Some of the views are ultra jingoistic and deserve to be discarded as there is no scope for jingoism in international negotiations. Other opposition to demilitarisation is primarily on two major issues: firstly, that the Pakistan Army cannot be trusted to honour the demilitarisation agreement; and, secondly, that China and Pakistan will gang up and join hands at Siachen and threaten Ladakh from the north.

Apparently, the finer nuances of the demilitarisation process have not been clearly understood. The demilitarisation agreement between India and Pakistan will be a legally binding international agreement. It will lay down a step by step process to turn the Siachen conflict zone into a demilitarised zone (DMZ). The first step will be authentication of present deployment positions. This will be followed by disengagement from the AGPL and, finally, the movement of troops, guns and war-like stores to previously agreed positions. The step by step demilitarisation process will be mutually agreed by the two DGMOs and approved by the political authorities.

The demilitarisation agreement will be without prejudice to either country’s stated position on the extension of the Line of Control (LoC) beyond NJ9842. This reference on military maps is the point up to which the Cease Fire Line was jointly demarcated under the Karachi Agreement of 1949 and the Shimla Agreement of 1972. In fact, a Joint Commission will be appointed to negotiate the extension of the LoC beyond NJ9842. This commission will begin its work simultaneously with the commencement of the process of demilitarisation. However, agreement on the extension of the LoC beyond NJ9842 cannot be a prelude to the commencement of demilitarisation, as some analysts are suggesting. Such a condition, if imposed by India, will make demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone a non-starter and both sides will be forced to continue to maintain their present deployments with all the attendant costs.

As part of demilitarisation, the disengagement and redeployment of all military forces to agreed positions will be verified independently by national technical means (satellites, air photos and electronic surveillance) as well as physically through joint helicopter sorties. Subsequent monitoring of the DMZ will also be similarly undertaken. No military activity will be permitted in the DMZ. In addition to mutually agreed physical monitoring being conducted jointly with laid down periodicity, both sides will have the right to conduct surprise inspections of suspected military movements. A joint monitoring centre will be established.

As both verification and monitoring will be transparent joint activities, it will be ensured that the process of demilitarisation is completed to the mutual satisfaction of both India and Pakistan. The demilitarisation agreement will contain a clause permitting both sides to take any action that is deemed appropriate, including the use of military means, in case the agreement is violated by the other side. Unauthorised military movement will not go unchallenged. The intruding personnel will be targeted by helicopter gunships and the fighter-ground attack aircraft of the Indian Air Force, as also by armed drones. In case any bunker that is vacated by Indian troops is occupied by the Pakistanis, it will be destroyed by using precision strike munitions. Under these circumstances, even if the Pakistan army has intentions of attempting to occupy vacated Indian bunkers, it will not succeed in doing so.

Small enemy patrols intruding surreptitiously into the DMZ will not be able to survive beyond a few days in the high altitude wilderness. They will need sustained helicopter support for ammunition, rations and fuel for warming. Supply helicopters will be easily detected and shot down. Large-scale intrusions of platoon to company size will be neutralised by air-to-ground strikes by the IAF with quick reaction reserves – that will be maintained in a high state of operational readiness in Ladakh – being employed for ‘mopping up’ operations. Hence, it will be militarily impossible for Pakistan to ‘hand over’ portions of the DMZ to China or to gang up with that country to jointly threaten Ladakh. Those who are imagining such linkages are seeing phantoms and vastly overstating the threat.

The demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone will not only act as a huge military-to-military confidence building measure, it will also test the Pakistan army’s sincerity and will be an opportunity for that army to prove that it has actually had a change of heart at the strategic level in wanting peace with India. It is a low risk option to test whether the Pakistan army can be trusted and India must not lose the opportunity to do so. However, India must draw up a demilitarisation agreement that takes care of all political and military apprehensions and make it clear to the Pakistan leadership that no military violation will be tolerated.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Luxtor » 21 May 2012 20:16

I don't know if this view has been expressed before on this subject but if the situation were reversed, i.e. India had lost many soldiers due to an avalanche and made a request to the Pukis for such a mutual withdrawal from Siachen would they comply? I DON'T THINK SO !!! They would probably laugh at us and ridicule us in the traditional Paki way and prance around with their chest out, saying look at these weak Yindoos begging us for mercy. India under no circumstance should vacate Siachen. If it is too much for the Pukis, then let them withdraw. One way to keep the pressure on the Pukis is to continue improving our military capability and continue outspending them within our limits and force them to keep up, thereby collapsing their economy. If the U.S. can do this to the USSR then we sure can. Some say that China could do the same thing to us but as a ratio Indian economy is much more closer to the size of the Chinese economy then Puki economy is to Indian. The West and the Chinese have been keeping the Puki economy afloat for the past 15 years, for the Pukis don't have any inherent strength in their economy. It would have collapsed a long time ago if it isn't for the perceived utility of the Pukis to the West and the Chinese.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 21 May 2012 20:29

Luxtor wrote: It would have collapsed a long time ago if it isn't for the perceived utility of the Pukis to the West and the Chinese.
Let us assume all of what you said to be true. Now, take the last part of your post and extrapolate further. What do you do with such a failed state on our strategic NW border, with 180+ million muslims living there next to you. Who do you think benefits and how do you think Indian interests are served?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 21 May 2012 20:39


It's statements like these which are signs of living in la-la land for the textbook huggers: "No military activity will be permitted in the DMZ."

Will not be permitted by whom? Who on Earth is going to enforce this? Not the USA, that has been demonstrated. Not China, this much I can take to my grave. "Enforcement" by the United Selectively Blind Nations might also be too slow or insufficient to India's liking. India will have to claw back territory to "enforce" anything. If India has to enforce this, as the farticle continues to explain, what is the point?! We are already defending the positions today!

There is more gold in the article.

Unauthorised military movement will not go unchallenged. The intruding personnel will be targeted by helicopter gunships and the fighter-ground attack aircraft of the Indian Air Force, as also by armed drones.

What happens to the agreement then? With the intention of the aggressor being evident, what unacceptable damage is India going to inflict to deter such adventures and to penalise Pakistan for the misadventure? Do we just sit around like a goalkeeper?

In case any bunker that is vacated by Indian troops is occupied by the Pakistanis, it will be destroyed by using precision strike munitions.

And India is going to detect these intrusions the same way we detected the Kargil intrusions, i.e. by sheer good luck?

Under these circumstances, even if the Pakistan army has intentions of attempting to occupy vacated Indian bunkers, it will not succeed in doing so.

Oh, Bravo! What an accomplishment. You have cemented equal=equal. You think they will not succeed in doing so based on your tremendous confidence in being able to detect the intrusion, your confidence on proving that there has been an intrusion, and your confidence in taking one bunker out being the end of the matter. How did they get to the bunker? Your intrusion detection system failed for that to have happened, didn't it?!

You have reduced the Indian position to that of a goalkeeper and you have left it for Pakistan to innovate till it finds a way to violate the agreement without being detected. There is no mention of a unacceptable damage as a penalty for violating the agreement.

If India was so confident of being able to detect intrusions and destroy occupations with precision strike munitions, why do we have to sign any document at all? Just pull back where necessary and target your own territory with munitions as and when necessary while keeping every option open for returning to the Indian positions at any time.

What unacceptable damage is sanctioned by the treaty if Pakistan were to violate the terms of the agreement? If no such actions are sanctioned, what would this agreement bring to the Indian side of the table that we don't have already? Absolutely nothing, right? That's what I thought.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 21 May 2012 21:51

ShauryaT wrote:Siachen Demilitarisation: Misunderstood Concept

Ever since General Kayani, the Pakistan army chief, made a statement seeking peaceful co-existence with India and pushed for the demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone, the commentary that has been published on the subject in India has been mostly negative. Some of the views are ultra jingoistic and deserve to be discarded as there is no scope for jingoism in international negotiations.

It seems anything to do with protecting Indian interest these days is considered being jingoistic. Only Indians are supposed to fritter away the gains made through blood and guts and the "accommodate" the other party.Some how, all the negotiations start at India's expense.

Other opposition to demilitarisation is primarily on two major issues: firstly, that the Pakistan Army cannot be trusted to honour the demilitarisation agreement; and, secondly, that China and Pakistan will gang up and join hands at Siachen and threaten Ladakh from the north.Apparently, the finer nuances of the de-militarisation process have not been clearly understood. The demilitarisation agreement between India and Pakistan will be a legally binding international agreement.

And who will reinforce this so called international binding agreement? Will India need to run to third parties to get Pakistan to vacate any position that is captures? When was the last time Pakistan honored any legally binding international agreement?

It will lay down a step by step process to turn the Siachen conflict zone into a demilitarised zone (DMZ). The first step will be authentication of present deployment positions.

Pakistan has out right refused to authenticate AGPL. Marking positions on the map is one thing - both sides agreeing to the positions on the map is totally different. I'm yet to see a single Pakistan source claiming that they'll "authenticate" AGPL like LOC. I think some smart word play is being used by Indian proponents of this Siachen process

This will be followed by disengagement from the AGPL and, finally, the movement of troops, guns and war-like stores to previously agreed positions. The step by step demilitarisation process will be mutually agreed by the two DGMOs and approved by the political authorities.The demilitarisation agreement will be without prejudice to either country’s stated position on the extension of the Line of Control (LoC) beyond NJ9842.

Basically, we are back to square one. Why is it that only we Indians have this grand ability to self flagellate and give away our gains? What is this BS about "prejudice to stated positions"? The very reason that IA went up the glacier is because we believed then that Siachen is Indian territory. And that is what we're believed ever since. So, why this sudden urge to undo almost 30 years of sacrifice? Why are we so hell-bent on giving Pakistan a foot in the door? The territory is Indian and shall remain so....PA can go fly a kite for all they want. Why is this sudden urge to foist "disputed territory" on the Siachen and even accept Pakistan claim to it?

This reference on military maps is the point up to which the Cease Fire Line was jointly demarcated under the Karachi Agreement of 1949 and the Shimla Agreement of 1972. In fact, a Joint Commission will be appointed to negotiate the extension of the LoC beyond NJ9842. This commission will begin its work simultaneously with the commencement of the process of demilitarisation. However, agreement on the extension of the LoC beyond NJ9842 cannot be a prelude to the commencement of demilitarisation, as some analysts are suggesting. Such a condition, if imposed by India, will make demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone a non-starter and both sides will be forced to continue to maintain their present deployments with all the attendant costs.

This is ch**tiyapanti of the highest order - have we not always claimed and believed that the glacier falls well within Indian territory - after all, the agreement reads thence, north to the glacier. Where is the ambiguity here? By agreeing to a joint commission we're basically doing two things - (a) saying that what we've believed all along about extension of LOC was wrong (b) giving maneuver space to Pakistan - the final result will be "accommodating" PA to alleviate some other anxiety that may have. The net gains will be for Pakistan as the "compromise" position will lie between Indian and Pakistan claim lines.

As part of demilitarisation, the disengagement and redeployment of all military forces to agreed positions will be verified independently by national technical means (satellites, air photos and electronic surveillance) as well as physically through joint helicopter sorties. Subsequent monitoring of the DMZ will also be similarly undertaken. No military activity will be permitted in the DMZ. In addition to mutually agreed physical monitoring being conducted jointly with laid down periodicity, both sides will have the right to conduct surprise inspections of suspected military movements. A joint monitoring centre will be established.

As both verification and monitoring will be transparent joint activities, it will be ensured that the process of demilitarisation is completed to the mutual satisfaction of both India and Pakistan.

The demilitarisation agreement will contain a clause permitting both sides to take any action that is deemed appropriate, including the use of military means, in case the agreement is violated by the other side. Unauthorised military movement will not go unchallenged. The intruding personnel will be targeted by helicopter gunships and the fighter-ground attack aircraft of the Indian Air Force, as also by armed drones. In case any bunker that is vacated by Indian troops is occupied by the Pakistanis, it will be destroyed by using precision strike munitions. Under these circumstances, even if the Pakistan army has intentions of attempting to occupy vacated Indian bunkers, it will not succeed in doing so.

The level of naivety displayed by veterans like GK at times is astonishing - gunships and FGA? what next - spaced based weapons and lasers? Does the good brigadier not realize that using air-power in those areas is sub-optimal - have we forgotten Kargil? And what would be the level of defense preparedness in India for CCS to authorize employment of FGA? Again, do we don't know about how air power came to be employed in Kargil?

Small enemy patrols intruding surreptitiously into the DMZ will not be able to survive beyond a few days in the high altitude wilderness. They will need sustained helicopter support for ammunition, rations and fuel for warming. Supply helicopters will be easily detected and shot down.

Sure :roll: Had this not come from GK, I could have laughed this off. Is is hard to phathom that if Pakistan as a nation decides to take Siachen, it will involve the air factor as well? IAF will first need to simultaneously contest the airspace as well as "shooting down" them helicopters. Also, why does GK feel that PA will need to rely only on helicopter support? It has far shorter lines of communication - it can use porters and mules to support and sustain troops in the region. Will India attack PA positions in Ghyari/Goma/Khapalu?

Large-scale intrusions of platoon to company size will be neutralised by air-to-ground strikes by the IAF with quick reaction reserves – that will be maintained in a high state of operational readiness in Ladakh – being employed for ‘mopping up’ operations.

One simple anomaly in the above hypothesis - troops stationed in Ladakh cannot be utilized in Siachen? Why you ask? Well, there is a difference between troops acclimatized for Ladakh and High-Altitude Area (HAA). You need HAA reserves to be able to deploy quickly to the glacier. And what force levels are we talking about here? Remember 1:7 Ratio for mountains? Well, even that failed in Kargil. So, how many troops and what logistical support level needs to be maintained? As for "mopping up" operations, last time we made such an assumption, we ended up with fiasco of Kargil in initial days.



Hence, it will be militarily impossible for Pakistan to ‘hand over’ portions of the DMZ to China or to gang up with that country to jointly threaten Ladakh. Those who are imagining such linkages are seeing phantoms and vastly overstating the threat.

A more concrete reply w/o hand waving comment could have been better here.

The demilitarisation of the Siachen conflict zone will not only act as a huge military-to-military confidence building measure, it will also test the Pakistan army’s sincerity and will be an opportunity for that army to prove that it has actually had a change of heart at the strategic level in wanting peace with India. It is a low risk option to test whether the Pakistan army can be trusted and India must not lose the opportunity to do so. As I said earlier, it is India which must always take the first step - somehow, I see no enthusiasm on part of PA to prove its credentials.

However, India must draw up a demilitarisation agreement that takes care of all political and military apprehensions and make it clear to the Pakistan leadership that no military violation will be tolerated.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby johneeG » 21 May 2012 22:05

An analogy on the Siachen De-militarization:
WKKs: Put your hands in fire.
Bharat: But why?
WKKs: Why not?
Bharat: Because my hands would burn.
WKKs: No. This time, the conditions have changed. Your hands will not burn. So, go ahead and put your hands in fire.
Bharat: What if they burn?
WKKs: No problem. The medicine is advanced these days. You can go to any hospital and they will cure you easily. So, go ahead and put your hands in fire.
Bharat: But, why take the risk?
WKKs: You misunderstood the concept...

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 21 May 2012 22:12

Jhujar wrote:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pakistan-glacier-soldiers-20120520,0,5725769.story
For troops on Siachen Glacier, the elements are the enemy


Pakis have a vested interest in claiming Siachen as a futile effort - helps to reduce the perceived magnitude of their loss.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby wig » 21 May 2012 22:29

the tribune, chandigarh carried this peice: The Siachen story - Why Indian Army cannot withdraw from the glacier by Maharajakrishna Rasgotra The author of this piece was India’s Foreign Secretary from 1982 to 1985.
it is informative of the thinking of the time and IMVHO adds value to this thread:
In July 1982, under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s direction, I had restarted the India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s talks which had remained stalled for over two years. Before my departure for Islamabad the Prime Minister’s instructions to me were typically laconic: “Talk to them about everything they want to talk about, including Kashmir; what I want to know from you when you come back is whether there is a grain of sincerity in him”.

President Zia-ul-Haq had been making noises about wanting peace with India. My very first meeting in Islamabad was with President Haq, who advised me to work out with his officials a Treaty of Peace and Friendship, including a No-war Pact. Over the next two and a half years we did successfully negotiate such a treaty, but at the last minute under American advice, Pakistan backed off from signing it. But I shall not dwell on that long story here.

On return from Pakistan, I told Prime Minister Gandhi that while my talks with the officials had gone off well, I could not really vouch for much sincerity on Zia-ul-Haq’s part. For I had picked up information from other sources in Pakistan that many Kashmiris from both sides of the LOC were being trained by ISI agents for armed jihad in Kashmir at the end, in success or even failure, of the ongoing jihad in Afghanistan. In another visit to Pakistan in 1983, I had heard some vague talk about the Pakistan army’s plans to extend its reach to the Karakorram Pass and link up Pakistan-occupied Baltistan with Chinese Occupied Aksai Chin inside J&K’s Laddakh region. When I mentioned this to Prime Minister Gandhi she asked me to speak about this with some people in our Defence establishment, which I did. Our Army already had information about some such schemes being hatched in Pakistan and was monitoring developments.

In early March 1984, I accompanied Prime Minister Gandhi to a meeting in the Defence Ministry’s high-security Map Room. There were no more than six or eight other persons there, including the Defence Minister and the Chief of Army Staff. On a large map were flagged the positions of the Pakistan army’s base – posts below the Saltoro Range, which constitutes the Siachen glacier’s western flank, and the routes the Pakistan army’s so-called “scientific” expeditions had been treading in the region for the last one year or two. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s two allies – China and the US — had been publishing maps showing the entire glaciated region up to the Karakorram Pass as territory under Pakistan’s control. This was a blatant violation of the Cease-Fire Line (CFL) Agreement of July 1949. Under that agreement the CFL from point NJ 9842 onwards was to run “north to the glaciers”, which would leave the larger part of the Siachen glacier and the region east of it in India. Perhaps, the US and China viewed this as a sort of consolatory recompense for Pakistan’s losses in 1971.

Particularly vexing for us was the thought that our two difficult neighbours, already in illegal occupation of large chunks of J&K territory, would link up to surround Central Ladakh on three sides within our own territory. Such a juncture would give them dominance over the Shyok Valley and easy access to KhardungLa Pass, and from that vantage point their forces would threaten Leh, a mere half days’ march from the Pass. The myth about Siachen, the adjoining glaciated areas and the Karakorram Pass being of no strategic importance is a recent invention: now that the region is secure, such myth making comes easy. Things looked very different to us when a clear danger loomed on the horizon.

So, the Army was given the order to move in and prevent the Pakistan army from occupying any part of the Saltoro Ridge or the Siachen glacier. The risks were carefully weighed; the Pakistan army’s plans to gain territory and strategic advantage in Ladakh, by stratagem or stealth, had to be forestalled and defeated, and if that led to war, so be it. The one post the Pakistan army had succeeded in occupying on the Saltoro Ridge was quickly removed, and ever since no Pakistani soldier has been allowed to set foot on the Siachen glacier: a reality which Pakistan’s army and governments have assiduously kept away from their people.

I was asked to be at that critical meeting, because I was to go to Islamabad a few weeks later to continue with the ongoing treaty negotiations. Sure enough, General Zia-ul-Haq’s Chief of Staff, General Khalid Mahmud Arif, in a private meeting with me gently chided India saying that Siachen was Pakistan’s and what we were doing was not right! I suitably rebutted his claim; the matter was not raised with me again, and there was not the least hint of the ongoing negotiations being broken or stalled. General Arif and I have remained good friends and have been engaged, poste-retirement, in the search for India-Pakistan peace and reconciliation in a forum called the Neemrana Initiative.

I am a firm believer in the mutual need of our two countries for peace, friendship and cooperation. I also think that in view of the Pakistan army’s changing perception of India, New Delhi should creatively respond to Islamabad’s positive gestures. I think it is time for military leaders of the two countries to meet from time to time to inform each other of their respective security perceptions. I also think Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should now pay his long over-due visit to Islamabad. Siachen does not appear to me as ripe for settlement just now, but a mutually satisfactory agreement on the Sir Creek is within easy reach. The visit should also be used to allay Pakistan’s suspicions and fears on water-related issues.

Scrutiny of the records of discussions surrounding the demarcation of the ceasefire line in 1949 will show that leaving the glaciated region as a ‘No-Man’s Land’ or an ‘International Peace Park’, etc, was never in anybody’s thoughts; for invariably always such areas become playgrounds for adventurers, spies and trouble makers. It should also be remembered that the entire line that divides India and Pakistan in J&K has resulted from armed conflicts followed by ceasefires. That is what has happened in the Siachen region also. In due course as this reality finds recognition in Pakistan, demilitarization of the region should become possible. Meanwhile, if requested, we could even consider allowing genuine Pakistani scientific expeditions to the glacier.

After the recent tragedy in which Pakistan lost 150 soldiers in an avalanche, if its army wishes to withdraw from these treacherous heights, they should feel free to do so. Prime Minister Singh can assure them that while the prevailing public opinion in India does not permit his government to agree to immediate withdrawal of the Indian Army from the Saltoro Ridge, it will not step beyond its present positions.n

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120518/edit.htm#4

rohitvats
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 21 May 2012 22:37

johneeG wrote:An analogy on the Siachen De-militarization:
WKKs: Put your hands in fire.
Bharat: But why?
WKKs: Why not?
Bharat: Because my hands would burn.
WKKs: No. This time, the conditions have changed. Your hands will not burn. So, go ahead and put your hands in fire.
Bharat: What if they burn?
WKKs: No problem. The medicine is advanced these days. You can go to any hospital and they will cure you easily. So, go ahead and put your hands in fire.
Bharat: But, why take the risk?
WKKs: You misunderstood the concept...


EXCELLENT....Sau baat ki ek baat!!!

Lalmohan
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Lalmohan » 21 May 2012 22:37

this conflict appears to be misnamed. if siachen is entirely under indian control, then the conflict is about the points that are being occupied by pakistan - so, can someone suggest a better name?

rohitvats
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 21 May 2012 22:45

^^^A senior ex-maulana has just the name - THE SALTORO WAR.

Lalmohan
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Lalmohan » 21 May 2012 22:47

but we are on the saltoro ridgeline - what is on the otherside?


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