Siachen News & Discussion

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 25 May 2012 12:07

nachiket wrote:
Aditya_V wrote:In Fact, once the CIA learnt the India had weaponised in 1990, they sent a urgent warning to GHQ after a Paki F-16 with a loaded Nuke was ready to Bomb Delhi at Chaklala Airbase.

Where did you read this? I had heard of a supposed paki plan to attack the Tarapur nuclear power station, but Delhi?


Fact: Paki F-16 was detected by CIA with a Nuke at Chaklala airbase and was asked to stand down stating Indians had Nukes too.

Conjenture: Given the geography and this was a Nuke not a conventional Bomb. Attacking Tarapur is like Nuking Mumbai- why would such a plane be based at Chaklala- the only logical conclusion would be that it was meant for Delhi.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 25 May 2012 12:08

Lalmohan wrote:if the chinese thought we were weak, why would they arm their modern day "warden of the marches"* - aka pakistan?


* ancient practice of appointing nomad tribes as guardians of the frontier beyond the great wall (against other tribes)


Weakness as in Technological weakness, why bother with a trans Himalayan adventure or using Nukes when Pakis could have done the job for them without getting thier hands dirty.

Publically they can claim they knew nothing and Paki Nuclear programme was totally independant.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ParGha » 25 May 2012 13:01

self-delete
Last edited by ParGha on 25 May 2012 13:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 25 May 2012 13:19

^^^ParGha, let me reiterate again - Op. Brass tacks was a ruse for Operation Trident with objective of taking Northern Areas. Brass Tacks was planned to contain and manage any fallout in the plains - as would have been the case. In case of Chequerboard, PLA mobilized upto 7 divisions to beef up their forward defences.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 25 May 2012 13:22

PratikDas wrote:The problem is not the Pakistani people but the Pakistani Army and the ISI. Show us a real plan, complete with verification and repercussion, for dealing with the Pakistani Army.


The problem is very much with Pakistani people. This is the wrong thread to discuss that, and this has been discussed in other threads, but here, in the Siachen context, it is important to not let go of the central fact as well.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ParGha » 25 May 2012 13:41

rohit, ruse or coup-de-main, how do we differentiate it? The generally accepted explanation is that its main objective was to coerce the Paks into cutting support for the separatist militants in Punjab. That worked. On the other hand, OP Trident never took off. You are right about the Chinese mobilization in Eastern Tibet, my mistake. Let us assume OP Trident could happen, was OP Meghdoot and subsequent occupation of Saltoro Ridge an enabler/first-move?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 25 May 2012 14:06

Sanku ji, welcome (back?) to the thread. The overwhelming majority could do with more believers in this Gandhiocracy.

I have no faith in GoI's abilities or desire to cleanse Pakistan of all malevolent people. There is still no bullet between Hafiz Saeed's eyes. Forget Hafiz Saeed, there is no bullet between Ajmal Kasab's eyes either. So I'm looking for baby steps - like hanging on to our own territory.

With the current state of things, I think aiming to cleanse Pakistan of all malevolent people would be akin to aiming not for the stars but for the Supreme Being Himself. The best I can hope for is for Pakistan Army to concentrate the worst amongst them to their leadership and the ISI, and for the ISI to concentrate the worst amongst the civilian population into their "Non State Department". At least then there are coordinates to monitor and target.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 25 May 2012 16:55

ParGha wrote:rohit, ruse or coup-de-main, how do we differentiate it? The generally accepted explanation is that its main objective was to coerce the Paks into cutting support for the separatist militants in Punjab. That worked. On the other hand, OP Trident never took off. You are right about the Chinese mobilization in Eastern Tibet, my mistake. Let us assume OP Trident could happen, was OP Meghdoot and subsequent occupation of Saltoro Ridge an enabler/first-move?


Well, we airlifted the 6 Mountain Division from Bareilly - lock, stock and barrel to Leh. This is a confirmed development. The second division was 4 ID. Plus, you'd have read the account by ex-IAF TpT pilot about airlifting of 20 odd BMPs in dead of winter to THOISE. 6MD was to move along Shyok-Skardu axis while 4 ID was to move along Indus valley - Batalik-Skardu. 28 Division elements were to provide support along northern gullies - Gureiz-Astore axis. So, you had 3 divisions versus ~ 3 brigade worth of PA troops.

As for Op.Meghdoot being an enabler - well, AFAIK, w/o Saltoro, the Shyok Valley west of Thoise would have been lost. Also, again, AFAIK, the plan proposed was to take Skardu in 1984 as well - but we ended up only with Saltoro. Till, 1987, when Op. Trident happened, NA was held by two brigades - 323 Bde for Siachen and 62 for Skardu. Now you've four. Between 1984 and 1987, IA would have realized that the key to untangle the Siachen mess lay in occupation of Skardu. And with General Sundarji at the helm of affairs, this would have meant the most of Northern Areas.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 25 May 2012 19:47

Aditya_V wrote:In Fact, once the CIA learnt the India had weaponised in 1990, they sent a urgent warning to GHQ after a Paki F-16 with a loaded Nuke was ready to Bomb Delhi at Chaklala Airbase.

....


Fact: Paki F-16 was detected by CIA with a Nuke at Chaklala airbase and was asked to stand down stating Indians had Nukes too.

Conjenture: Given the geography and this was a Nuke not a conventional Bomb. Attacking Tarapur is like Nuking Mumbai- why would such a plane be based at Chaklala- the only logical conclusion would be that it was meant for Delhi.


Hi, according to Raj Chengappa our nukes were weaponized only in 1994 (link)

Rohit Vats; you should condense your thoughts and knowledge into an article.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby svinayak » 26 May 2012 01:07

ParGha wrote:
IIRC, Premier Chou Enlai expected that after the integration of the NE states in the 1950s, Nehru would turn his eyes back on the northern J&K. The liberation and annexation of Goa was an unexpected surprise for the Chinese. After that the 1962 India-China War became inevitable, because the CCP hardliners started pressuring Mao to move on Macau and Hong Kong "just like Nehru was doing in the West". For Mao these were important back-doors for hard-currency, unofficial diplomacy and technical and political espionage, no way was he going to kill these golden-gooses; the only alternative was to publicly shame Nehru and shock the hardliners into silence.

The 1962 defeat did more to encourage Pakistani (mis-)adventurism - manifested in the 1965 War - than any other event of Nehru Premiership.

This is true that the 1961 war of Liberation of Goa was the most important event in the history of Independent India that it triggred several wars against India.

Also you need to look at the western outrage and their plans to take revenge against JLN since he was supposed to take care of the western interest inside India. There may be links of Mao with the western counter parts esp. colonial/imperialists remnants who may wanted revenge against India.

India China war in 1962 is a big event in the history of 1000 years.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 26 May 2012 01:44

COAS on Siachen - We cannot take Kayani at face value. What have the Pakistanis said different this time than in the previous talks we've had on the subject? They still say that we're the aggressors, that we need to go back and draw a line from NJ9842 to KK Pass. There is trust deficit and after what they did in Kargil, you cannot trust them.

On being asked about PA/Kayani making noises about ecological issues wrt Siachen - "He is no where near Siachen, so why is he bothered about Siachen? That is a lie they have been telling their people all this while"

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 26 May 2012 02:09

PratikDas wrote:Sanku ji, welcome (back?) to the thread.


Thanks Pratik-ji.

With the current state of things, I think aiming to cleanse Pakistan of all malevolent people would be akin to aiming not for the stars but for the Supreme Being Himself. The best I can hope for .


I would like to say, that our "hopes" should not be limited by reality. Yes, currently it does appear difficult for GoI to say that Pakistan is a problem, Pakistanis are a problem, their ideology is a problem and the region needs a through cleansing.

However, no reason to lull ourselves into believing that
1) There is any good in any remote corner of that shittistan.
2) Any "less worse" faction will have any power or even inclination to counter act the "more bad"
3) There is any solution other than the fear in the heart of their worst element that their pathetic existence will end if they take on India.

That hell hole has nothing remotely +ve and that fact must be repeated and highlighted in every single discussion that we are a part of.

As the few who are not yet forced into opium dreams. We owe that to our country and our people.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 03:33

An excerpt from an old interview by Gen. Hoon.

http://in.rediff.com/news/1999/aug/05hoon.htm

From your experiences at the LoC, how difficult and stressful is it to guard that stretch?

Very difficult. Even the Americans are trying to find out from us how we fight and live in that area. Even Siachen. I maintain that Siachen was a botched up operation. Over Rs 60 million is spent on Siachen every day. This money comes by way of direct and indirect taxes paid by the people of this country. The question is, how long can we afford to spend so much on Siachen? Since retirement I have been submitting papers and writing to PMs about the security concerns of India.

I was the brain behind Operation Meghdoot -- the plan that put the Indian army atop. The present impasse happened because the operation was never fully implemented. I want a probe into the botched Operation Meghdoot.

...
How was Operation Meghdoot botched up?


My plan was to hold it thinly at the top. There are three approaches there. (He is talking about Sia La, Bilafond La and Gyong La) So Pakistan could have taken it there. If I beefed it up like it was done later, my logistics would go wonky. I said, let me have this force on the line of communication -- on the Srinagar-Leh Highway and if they take anything there (200 km away), (If the Pakistanis take anything at Siachen) I will hit them with this force, even in winter. I will just go and take Gilgit, Skardu and hit the Karakoram highway in Pakistan.

Now again there was a difference of perception: Sundarji came -- a brigade was raised, a division was raised. Instead of raising a corps and placing it in that area, he shoved it into Leh. With a result that a whole division, a brigade started looking after this area in Siachen. This was not required.

Siachen has to be held for some time. Till we consolidate. We concentrate our force and keep it ready for a riposte through an area at a time of our own convenience.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 03:42

sum wrote:
Independent of the Pakistani perfidy and Islamist notions that the country is riven with, these attitudes on our side will make peace, even with a reconstituted Pakistan, impossible - let alone a disengagement in one sector.

Are you saying that Paki perfidy and Islamist notions are a imagination of saffron clad BRFites and that the Pakis are actually pure like the snow?

Can now imagine why JLN behaved the way he did in 47 when we have similar thoughts even after 60 years of relentless Paki warfare on us.


Why dont you read the sentence again, and try to parse it?

Independent of the Pakistani perfidy and the Islamist notions in Pakistan (i.e. even if these notions are corrected in Pakistan and Pakistan is rid of its terrorist elements), these attitudes (i.e. this is our sacred land and we will not see an inch of it part from us, and we will defend this by wars) will make peace, even with a reconstituted (as in, corrected, make to behave right) Pakistan impossible.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Virupaksha » 26 May 2012 03:43

sudeepj wrote:Gen. Hoon:
Over Rs 60 million is spent on Siachen every day. This money comes by way of direct and indirect taxes paid by the people of this country.
...
Now again there was a difference of perception: Sundarji came -- a brigade was raised, a division was raised. Instead of raising a corps and placing it in that area, he shoved it into Leh. With a result that a whole division, a brigade started looking after this area in Siachen. This was not required.

and I am blind not to see any contradictions there. :roll:

He wants a fully equipped corps ready and on a trigger ready alert at all times with high altitude training & winter gear all the while accepting that for us actually complete this project, we have to actually secure skardu.

and the general hoon says

If we give away our territory we are going to run into trouble tomorrow.

Color it with red, bolds and all the colors of the rainbow, what Hoon says is completely different from what you are advocating.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby svinayak » 26 May 2012 03:47

That piece is a psy ops for PRC and Pak to make sure they dont have other ideas.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 26 May 2012 03:52

Hindustan Times: India, Pakistan fail to ink pact on new visa regime

Pakistani perfidy on display yet again. India sends a contingent empowered to sign an agreement in their home turf, Islamabad, and they "did not give details on when the pact will be inked and stressed that the pact involves important issues and should be finalised at the political level". If the Indian home secretary RK Singh does not represent the "political level" then are they under the mistaken impression that he represents Bollywood or IPL? Or do they think he went to Islamabad for a vacation?

Islamabad wants the agreement to be signed at ministerial level. In response to a question, Malik said India’s home minister P Chidambaram was welcome to visit Pakistan to sign the visa agreement.


How does it matter to them who in India is authorised to sign the agreement? Are they going to determine the way GoI works now?

These are the morons some lecturers on this thread want CBMs with. Yes, I said morons. How can I help it if they are so adamant in demonstrating their calibre at every given opportunity?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 03:56

pragnya wrote:sudeepj,

you have made some good observations as has ShauryaT. i have followed them with interest. well, i am not well versed with topology and army tactics so i can't comment based on that.

point is by doing op meghdoot we were neither the aggressors nor we went against the shimla agreement. infact we followed the very text of the same wrt deliniation of LOC beyond NJ9842 - 'thence north' - this too was done when pakistan was trying to legitimise its own claim (by reneging the shimla agreement) on siachen by sending expeditions as if it was their own territory. the factors you are speaking of were taken into account by the GOI/ARMY before embarking on the same because it was simply a matter of upholding our 'territorial integrity'.

nobody including the army is against demilitarisation but they want AGPL to be authenticated and later deliniated into a 'dejure' border between the 2 countries. strangely pakistan army and their govt are against that even though 'they' are the ones who are crying for the withdrawl (post gyari incident). now knowing their propensity to not 'honour' any agreement/committments made to india (specially) and to the world (in general), how is this going to go forward?? there is an immeasurable 'trust deficit' between the 2 countries which will take generations to heal and the ball is squarely in the pakistan court. they have to prove it which they are not doing even now. many examples have been given already by various posters.

i am no hawk but don't you think pakistan has to prove 'atleat' some sincerity before we can even think of moving forward?? who knows it is one of PA's 'brilliant' tactical plan?? hitting 2 birds with one stone?? 1 - cutting their own costs/lives in the short term and 2 - reoccupying it at a germane time, in the long term ala kargill!!

what would we do if the above happens (which is more likely going by the past history)?? if we have to resort to 'opening' another front or an all out war, what would be the loss we have to incur just to retake which we already have?? which begs the point why leave??


I think Pakistanis are being complete asses in not taking this opportunity to disengage at Siachen under the line of preventing human suffering being caused by war.. Look at this senseless country, every strategic opportunity they get to convert the game into win-win, they fritter away. They had a Golden chance to cement their hold over their Pashtun areas with the NATO intervention in Afghanistan.. Not only did they not do that, they encouraged elements which will challenge their rule on these areas in the future.

Even so, we should not stop trying to convert the game into win-win.. Even if they gain small advantages here and there, they simply can not challenge India militarily, 10-15-20 years down the line.

Also, Kargil happened because no one was watching. Here, we will put monitoring mechanisms into place. Secondly, there are any number of places along the IB where the alignment of natural features and the border itself is unfavorable to the IA. We dont increase our vulnerability at these places by pitting more and more soldiers in there. We guard our political interest there by saying, if you mess with the border here, we will break your neck at a place of our choosing. If this logic is good enough for Amritsar, why is it not good enough for Siachen?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 04:06

ramana wrote:I think advocating vacating Indian territory with TSP track record of perfidy and creeping expansion is tantamount to treachery. IF TSP was so innocent and such vacating would lead to reducing the tensions its another matter. But TSP is not innocent and has shown repeated intent to occupy Indian territory. Especially after this how can one demand India "show courage" and vacate their own lands which we know TSP has a track record of occupying?


You need to be a little bit more circumspect with these labels, particularly because you are a moderator and your tone sets the score for the entire forum. If we were to meet in real life, I am sure your demeanor would be very different. Not everyone who disagrees with you about military matters or even territorial issues is a traitor or any other label you want to put on that person.

This is the only forum in the Civil domain in India, where people interested in strategic affairs of the country can come to talk to each other. In any discussion, there will be two sides. If one side arrogates to itself the sole right to define what national interest is, what patriotism is, even what is moral - what will remain of the discussion forum but an echo chamber?
Last edited by sudeepj on 26 May 2012 04:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 04:07

sameer_shelavale wrote:
sudeepj wrote:The abuse simply shows that there are no arguments, for if there were arguments, they would be put forward in a reasonable manner. As at least some people have tried to do.. But where are the forum moderators in all this? Is it kosher to now label anyone who you disagree with as a traitor/WKK and so on?

Since Pakistan lost Ghyari post, you are typing same lines with different grammar. Did you get all the enlightenment because of sufferings of your brethren ?
People have blown up your logic line by line, but if you still keep typing same things in somewhat different words, all forums call it "Troll".
If you have concluded that your opinion is realty and pure analysis, then you will not see any logic or reality in others.


Once again, you have no point to make, except abuse.. please wipe off the spittle from the screen, grab some coffee and take it easy.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 04:53

SSridhar wrote:Those who have put forth credible counter arguments have countered those by quoting the sale of Alaska or the loss of Aksai Chin. It is simply foolish to talk of defending only verdant valleys as their defence lies *only* in holding towering and forbidding 'desolate peaks and crags' surrounding them. They have also said that what the future will unfold by holding on to those 'desolate peaks and crags' cannot be known today; certainly, it can only bring us benefits and not harm.


The loss of Aksai chin is a very different story than what happened in Alaska, but thats a digression. Alaska is much more hospitable territory as compared to Siachen. It has tremendous stores of timber, fishing, hunting and minerals. These resources were well known at the time the Czar sold the land to pay for his wars elsewhere. No such thing can be said about Siachen. If resources are a concern, let us do a survey there and figure out whats available for exploitation. Lastly, even if there is something there, it is not exploitable without peace.

For this simple reason, modern-day nation-states *are* irredentist. The progression of borders into the high seas from territorial waters to Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to Continental Shelf under UN Convention on Laws of Seas (UNCLOS) is a proof of current thinking of nation-states. They have further argued that Pakistan's perfidy in occupying Indian pickets and salients, vacated in good faith during winter, shall be repeated at Saltoro, Siachen and eastern Karakoram directly threatening Nubra and Shyok valleys. Certain features in the Kargil sector were glaciated too and the IA thought that the PA would not occupy them but we were proven wrong in 1999. As early as c. 1948, Haji Pir was lost similarly and has been a source of never ending misery for us ever since. During Kargil, Pakistan even repudiated agreed and well demarcated LoC.


Ill have to disagree with you here. The definition of EEZ (not borders) was to preclude wars for underwater resources, which would result if technology to extract these resources was available, but rules were not. I dont understand how this agreement can be used to reach the conclusion that modern nation states are irredentist. Also, Kargil happened because no one was watching. Siachen will be watched.

Therefore, I am even against the withdrawal of the IA from Siachen even after the AGPL until Pakistan has verifiably and convincingly turned around on its enduring hostility with us, which is some three decades into the future if started earnestly today by Pakistan.


It s a chicken and egg quesiton of what will happen first.. Pakistan giving up Islamism first, or peace facilitating a transition in Pakistan.

Technological progress can make matters easier for Pakistan and China to traverse the glaciers in large numbers in the coming years if we vacate. The PA and the PLA are collaborating in Balawaristan and Pakistan has not only ceded large areas there to the PLA but has recently allowed a Chinese PLA team to reconnoiter the Baltoro range and the glacier which is ominous.


What large areas have been ceded other than Shaksgam valley, which is another impossible/indefensible place anyway?

If it was cartographic aggression with American help (to be followed shortly by real aggression) that prompted India to take Saltoro in 1984, the developing situation is even more dangerous now than ever before. India itself has made use of technology to make living much easier in these 'desolate peaks and crags' and has achieved a near-zero casualty rate. Continuing in the same emotional vein as Sudeep, Mother India cannot be saved or served when an avenue of attack is left open and many more Indian lives will be lost then. It is not that we are callous about Indian lives being lost on these 'desolate peaks and crags', but exactly for reasons opposite.


You put 'desolate peaks and crags' in scare quotes, as if my statement is an exaggeration or somehow misleading. :-) Am I to understand that you disagree?

Every inch of our territory need not be defended provided we do not have neighbours (like Pakistan and China) who want to occupy them and creep into us. Nobody thought that a group of terrorists will travel from Karachi by sea and land in Colaba in a dinghy, take taxis casually to different parts and hold Mumbai to ransom for three days killing over 150 people in an unprecedented urban warfare with the State of India. With the prospects of a two-front war looming large, we cannot minimize the importance of this tri-junction between India, China and Pakistan. Today, it may be that WW I trench warfare, where the Pakistanis are unable to climb up the Saltoro and we are unable to climb down it into Baltistan to capture Skardu and beyond which are lawfully ours. But, by vacating the trench (or the igloos) at the Saltoro ridge, we are pre-empting an avenue available to us when the time comes in the future.


There is neither a prospect of a two front war, neither is the tri junction of any strategic importance. Safety of Colaba is hardly impacted by a brigade sitting at Siachen.

Ssridhar wrote:
sudeepj wrote:We have lost sight of the political and strategic goals of the Saltoro occupation
What were the goals in c. 1984 that we hav lost sight of now ?


This is a very important question and one that has sadly not been given enough attention in this thread. What were our political goals in 1984? IMO, they were:

1. Stop cartographic aggression to be followed by physical occupation by the Pak Army, at a time when two major powers (and perhaps Britain) were ready to go with the Pak interpretation of the border.
2. Show political determination to guard all parts of Indian territory, by force if necessary. I.e. we would not shy away from fighting salami slicing operations by Pakistan. This at a time when the Indian economy was not doing great, while Pakistan's was, and they were the most allied ally of USA.

For (1), Today, the situation is reverse. All major powers, will gladly (except China) go with whatever agreement is reached between India and Pakistan about the AGPL. Saltoro is in our possession, and possession being 9/10s the law, any demarcation here will be more or less along our interpretation of the border.

For (2), Pakistan is internationally isolated while we are in G20 and powerful world bodies.. This will become even more so, as the NATO withdrawal takes place and the weapon of Nato supply lines vanishes. Our political determination is amply demonstrated via Kargil and Siachen operations, and the Narsimha Rao sponsored unanimous Loksabha resolution about Kashmir being a inviolable part of India.

IMHO, we have lost sight of these political goals, and instead (in Gen Hoons words) have invented the strategic significance of Siachen.

Gentlemen, I hate to break it to you, but we have won the Kashmir war, and Pakistan has lost, and its time to start thinking about what the eventual peace with Pakistan will look like. The strategic competition with China though, is only just beginning. While we will fight both of them if required, itll be much easier for us, if one border is settled.

Independent of the Pakistani perfidy and Islamist notions that the country is riven with, these attitudes on our side will make peace, even with a reconstituted Pakistan, impossible - let alone a disengagement in one sector.

... How is peace possible with an inimical nation whose sole aim is to destroy India ? All perceptions about Pakistan are increasingly pointing towards more Islamist radicalization and reckless local, regional and global jihad. Why should we appease these barbarians by vacating our lawful land ? What is wrong in defending every inch of our territory against these hoardes ?


Peace will be impossible, if any concessions to Pakistan are opposed with such vehemence. Please remember, we are not in the position of having defeated them in war.. so cant exactly dictate terms. Also, the last set of people who talked about ".. square inches of land" were not exactly paragons of virtue. Lastly, its incorrect to cast Pakistan in the image of one monolithic Islamist horde. Its correct that the nation was born of quixotic notions, but within the Pakistani system, there are serious fault lines and a full spectrum of Islamism, from the coy, harmless Najam Sethi, Hasan Nisar version, to the full blown jihadi Zaid Hamid, Hamid Gul version.

As long as the Generals and politicians can keep up the charade that this is a useful conflict, he will go and do it. But one day, he will turn back and ask - Why? We better have a good answer then.
Luckily, the foot soldier does not think like that. Read Captain Bana Singh PVC's interview.


Things are changing.. You cant have misbegotten pajeros and mercedes running on the streets of Delhi and at the same time ask young men (who see these totems of sin day in and day out) without basic human facilities like drinking water, safe latrines, education etc. to give up their lives in some God forsaken crevasse.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 26 May 2012 05:00

sudeepj wrote:Gentlemen, I hate to break it to you, but we have won the Kashmir war, and Pakistan has lost, and its time to start thinking about what the eventual peace with Pakistan will look like. The strategic competition with China though, is only just beginning. While we will fight both of them if required, itll be much easier for us, if one border is settled.

... How is peace possible with an inimical nation whose sole aim is to destroy India ? All perceptions about Pakistan are increasingly pointing towards more Islamist radicalization and reckless local, regional and global jihad. Why should we appease these barbarians by vacating our lawful land ? What is wrong in defending every inch of our territory against these hoardes ?


Peace will be impossible, if any concessions to Pakistan are opposed with such vehemence. Please remember, we are not in the position of having defeated them in war.. so cant exactly dictate terms.

I am confused.

I thought one of the perks of winning a war was the ability to dictate terms.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 05:06

No need to be confused.. India may have won, but its not a military victory, just as the USA won the Cold war, but it wasnt a military victory. The opponents forces are still intact, though they cant be sustained indefinitely with the economic base available. The opponents will to fight is significantly degraded, and significant schisms have appeared in the opponents ideology.

We have won, but should not expect to dictate terms like Gen Jacob did to Niazi..

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 26 May 2012 05:09

sudeepj wrote:No need to be confused.. India may have won, but its not a military victory, just as the USA won the Cold war, but it wasnt a military victory. The opponents forces are still intact, though they cant be sustained indefinitely with the economic base available. The opponents will to fight is significantly degraded, and significant schisms have appeared in the opponents ideology.

We have won, but should not expect to dictate terms like Gen Jacob did to Niazi..


Slight problem in your analogy. The loss of the Cold War saw the Soviet Union disintegrate and Russia set back economically and militarily.

We're waiting for Pakistan to disintegrate.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby svinayak » 26 May 2012 05:11

PratikDas wrote:
Slight problem in your analogy. The loss of the Cold War saw the Soviet Union disintegrate and Russia set back economically and militarily.

We're waiting for Pakistan to disintegrate.

:lol:

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 May 2012 05:20

Pakistani soldiers are killing their officers in their barracks, the writ of Islamabad runs to at most a scarce 100kms from their capital, their younger generation is less educated than their adults, their citizens are given polio vaccinations as they disembark from their planes in other countries..

You think Pakistan is not defeated?

You still need someone to make peace with in Islamabad.. Much more of this, and Pakistan will become Afghanistan, and who benefits from that? A Pakistan that is the mirror image of Afghanistan will not bring any peace to India.. In fact, India (or worse, someone else) will have to go in to bring order to the place..

Its nice to say "We want Pakistan disintegrate.." but who will pick up the pieces?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 26 May 2012 05:26

The first thing that will happen is the nuclear weapons will recede into one or a few dominant states, without any strategic depth. The major powers might even intervene to ensure that there are no strays. Without strategic depth, It becomes much harder for any of the individual states to blackmail India like TSP does today.

Is Afghanistan a problem to China, their most powerful and therefore enviable neighbour?

It is much easier for India to play Santa Claus to the weakened and divided states (Divide and Rule? Hello!).
Last edited by PratikDas on 26 May 2012 05:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ramana » 26 May 2012 05:27

Dont worry about TSP pieces being picked up.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Kakkaji » 26 May 2012 06:17

I am old enough to remember early 1972, when we thought that Pakistan was decisively beaten, broken up, and shall never be able to rise again. We thought we needed to make concessions, to earn their confidence, to help them become good, peaceful neighbours forever. So we returned their 93,000 POWs, without asking them to give up their claims on J&K and recognizing the LOC as the international border. Bhutto promised that he will prepare his people to accept that outcome. He asked us to trust him. Our newspapers were full of articles with arguments similar to what sudeepj ans ShouryaT are making in this thread. "Trust them, be generous, it will be all peace and 'bhaichara' for ever".

So, what happened? I was a teenager then, I am a middle-aged man now. Where is the peace and 'bhaichara' that I was promised in return for the concessions?

We make territorial concessions to Pakis now, I won't be around 40 years from now to see it, but today's Indian teenagers will still be waiting, as middle-aged men, for peace and 'bhaichara' from Pakistan.

JMT

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 26 May 2012 06:33

sudeepj wrote:You still need someone to make peace with in Islamabad.. Much more of this, and Pakistan will become Afghanistan, and who benefits from that? A Pakistan that is the mirror image of Afghanistan will not bring any peace to India.. In fact, India (or worse, someone else) will have to go in to bring order to the place..Its nice to say "We want Pakistan disintegrate.." but who will pick up the pieces?


Why do you doubt our capacty to "Neutralize" all of them? Only thing lacking is political will. Sindhi and aluchi will love to live in peace , free from Pakjab which must be destroyed completely as punishement for the past sins. We will glad to pick all the pieces sans people.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 26 May 2012 06:33

sudeepj wrote:You still need someone to make peace with in Islamabad.. Much more of this, and Pakistan will become Afghanistan, and who benefits from that? A Pakistan that is the mirror image of Afghanistan will not bring any peace to India.. In fact, India (or worse, someone else) will have to go in to bring order to the place..Its nice to say "We want Pakistan disintegrate.." but who will pick up the pieces?


Why do you doubt our capacty to "Neutralize" all of them? Only thing lacking is political will. Sindhi and aluchi will love to live in peace , free from Pakjab which must be destroyed completely as punishement for the past sins. We will glad to pick all the pieces sans people.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Luxtor » 26 May 2012 07:16

sudeepj wrote:No need to be confused.. India may have won, but its not a military victory, just as the USA won the Cold war, but it wasnt a military victory. The opponents forces are still intact, though they cant be sustained indefinitely with the economic base available. The opponents will to fight is significantly degraded, and significant schisms have appeared in the opponents ideology.

We have won, but should not expect to dictate terms like Gen Jacob did to Niazi..


Taking 90,000 + Paki POWs is not a military victory? The 1st big mistake India made was not taking back the part of Kashmir that became POK in 1947 by force. Nehru and company were naive in their assessment of inherent fairness and justice in the world thinking that part of Kashmir that was grabbed by the Pakis will be returned by U.N. to India since the Maharaja of Kashmir signed an accession deal with India. Taking the matter to the U.N. was a great mistake. The 2nd big mistake was to let the Pakis off the hook so easily after we defeated them so badly in 1971. We Indian's lack the shrewdness to go for the enemy's jugular when we have him right where we want him. After the 1971 victory we should have kept tight control of Pakistan and dictated terms to them and prevented them from acquiring nukes from that time. Look what the U.S. did to Japan after they defeated them in WW2. Look what the allies did to the Axis powers in Europe. Once you defeat an enemy nation you must exercise control over them to keep them from becoming a pain in the Pakistan to India. Now ...let Pakistan disintegrate, let us continue to build economic, military, strategic pressure on them to force a collapse. Pakistan as a working society or should I say as an existing society is a great menace to India and everyone else. The Paki elite in the military will continue to taunt, poke and prod India. And if they sense an opportunity they will attack us when our backs are turned. If we haven't learned this by now, then we'll have a hard time becoming a great nation with the Paki ball and chain around our necks. It is no accident that the westerners especially the Americans and then the Chinese continue to prop up Pakistan, they have been doing it so that if the South Asia region is pinned down by its own local conflicts it will not become a challenge to them in the larger sense. Pakistanis are the perfect stooges for their intentions, they could not have asked for any better situation.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 May 2012 07:25

sudeepj wrote:We have won, but should not expect to dictate terms like Gen Jacob did to Niazi..

What sort of a victory is this where we need to concede to their demand of withdrawing from our own territory? You seem to have tied yourself into knots with your last few posts.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 May 2012 07:33

sudeepj wrote:Pakistani soldiers are killing their officers in their barracks, the writ of Islamabad runs to at most a scarce 100kms from their capital, their younger generation is less educated than their adults, their citizens are given polio vaccinations as they disembark from their planes in other countries..

Totally inconsequential as far as our core interest of stopping paki terrorism is concerned.

You think Pakistan is not defeated?

Several terrorists who murdered a large number of Indians still roam around freely in Pakistan, some of them even protected by their premier intelligence agency. Terrorist training camps and launching pads on the LOC remain intact. ISI and paki army support for the terrorists remains intact.
You think pakistan is defeated?
You still need someone to make peace with in Islamabad..

No. We need pakistan to make peace with us. We need them to show some "generosity" that is regularly demanded from India. Specifically we need them to extradite their citizens who are waging war on us instead of supporting them. We have had enough of their bullcrap. And most importantly we don't owe them anything. Least of all any concessions and compromises regarding our territory.

Much more of this, and Pakistan will become Afghanistan, and who benefits from that? A Pakistan that is the mirror image of Afghanistan will not bring any peace to India.. In fact, India (or worse, someone else) will have to go in to bring order to the place..

Its nice to say "We want Pakistan disintegrate.." but who will pick up the pieces?


Yeah yeah. Been hearing this for several years now. Wake me up when this actually happens. This is nothing more than a phantom threat used by sundry western commentators to scare Indians into making compromises on our strategic interests. A weak divided enemy is always easier to handle than a united stronger one.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ManuT » 26 May 2012 09:00

SudeepJ ji
Not sure about "not being a military victory" is 1971 or Siachen, so will leave that aside.

Any sympathy felt towards the accused, should  be reserved for the victim.
Added Later: In light of the evidence.

(It is not a trick question)
USSR invades Afghanistan. 
US arms mujahideen thru TSP.
How many Indians die? (not should die or could die but actually die) Go figure.

Maybe you should carefully look into how Taliban-ISI combine took Afghanistan province by province rather than Siachen.

Public floggings in TSP were pretty much proto-Taliban. That kind of radicalism was exported TO Afghanistan (with Ideology of Talibs and mil expertise of ISI) and NOT from Afghanistan to Pakistan. (Mujs were pretty much useless without the stingers)

What's the problem with pieces of TSP? Is the fear here that jihadi types will attack India? (or is it some kind of a blackmail position)
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 26 May 2012 09:17

Kakkaji wrote:I am old enough to remember early 1972, when we thought that Pakistan was decisively beaten, broken up, and shall never be able to rise again. We thought we needed to make concessions, to earn their confidence, to help them become good, peaceful neighbours forever. So we returned their 93,000 POWs, without asking them to give up their claims on J&K and recognizing the LOC as the international border. Bhutto promised that he will prepare his people to accept that outcome. He asked us to trust him. Our newspapers were full of articles with arguments similar to what sudeepj ans ShouryaT are making in this thread. "Trust them, be generous, it will be all peace and 'bhaichara' for ever".

So, what happened? I was a teenager then, I am a middle-aged man now. Where is the peace and 'bhaichara' that I was promised in return for the concessions?

We make territorial concessions to Pakis now, I won't be around 40 years from now to see it, but today's Indian teenagers will still be waiting, as middle-aged men, for peace and 'bhaichara' from Pakistan.

JMT

Kakkaji ji, thank you so very much for sharing your experience with us.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Kakkaji » 26 May 2012 09:44

PratikDas wrote:
Kakkaji wrote:I am old enough to remember early 1972, when we thought that Pakistan was decisively beaten, broken up, and shall never be able to rise again. We thought we needed to make concessions, to earn their confidence, to help them become good, peaceful neighbours forever. So we returned their 93,000 POWs, without asking them to give up their claims on J&K and recognizing the LOC as the international border. Bhutto promised that he will prepare his people to accept that outcome. He asked us to trust him. Our newspapers were full of articles with arguments similar to what sudeepj ans ShouryaT are making in this thread. "Trust them, be generous, it will be all peace and 'bhaichara' for ever".

So, what happened? I was a teenager then, I am a middle-aged man now. Where is the peace and 'bhaichara' that I was promised in return for the concessions?

We make territorial concessions to Pakis now, I won't be around 40 years from now to see it, but today's Indian teenagers will still be waiting, as middle-aged men, for peace and 'bhaichara' from Pakistan.

JMT

Kakkaji ji, thank you so very much for sharing your experience with us.


You are welcome Pratikji

I am just 'aam janata'. I was not a decision maker then, and I am not a decision maker now. But 'powers that be' like what ShouryaT has mentioned in his posts are pushing this agenda of 'creating space for friendlies in Pakistan'. IIRC it is the likes of D P Dhar in Indira Gandhi's 'Kitchen Cabinet' who made her drink the Kool-Aid then, and I am afraid similar people are now selling the same agenda now.

I am glad Indira Gandhi did not drink the Kool-aid a year earlier, or else there would have been no Bangladesh.

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Re: On why

Postby SSridhar » 26 May 2012 10:52

sudeepj wrote:The loss of Aksai chin is a very different story than what happened in Alaska, but thats a digression. Alaska is much more hospitable territory as compared to Siachen. It has tremendous stores of timber, fishing, hunting and minerals. These resources were well known at the time the Czar sold the land to pay for his wars elsewhere. No such thing can be said about Siachen. If resources are a concern, let us do a survey there and figure out whats available for exploitation. Lastly, even if there is something there, it is not exploitable without peace.

sudeepj, I am well aware of the Alaska story and that of Aksai Chin too. When one talks of examples, it should not be micro analyzed unless one wants to argue for the sake of argument. I believe that you knew why I referred to them and yet decided to go tangentially off on irrelevant things. The larger point behind the comparison was on the notion of how wastelands need not be defended and how woefully short-sighted that fallacious thinking was. In any case, your sense of history on Alaska is inaccurate. The Tsar did not sell Alaska just to pursue war elsewhere. He sold it because he did not want to spend money defending the 'desolate' place of Alaska, the same process of thinking that moulds some of our approach that 'desolate peaks and crags' can be vacated even when the enemy is most determined to occupy them, irretrievably inimical towards us and has a proven history of occupying features we temporarily vacate along the border in good faith. There were many Americans who thought that buying a region where only polar-bears lived was foolish and worthless too. At the time, Alaska was sold off, nobody knew of its gold and oil potential. The Russians were unaware of even the overt riches it possessed. Let us not kid ourselves that we will be able to figure out through a survey today what is available in Siachen. We have not even surveyed the plains of India completely yet and we may not even have the technology to survey Siachen. Alaska's riches were found out only more than a century later. A time might come later for us too regarding Siachen but we need to possess that area till such a time. As for peace as a pre-condition for exploitation of riches, who doubted that ? But, peace is not going to come through appeasement. Appeasement only makes the appeased demand more of the same especially when they are the fanatical Islamist jihadis of Pakistan. If we consider appeasement as investment, then we have appeased enough with absolutely no return on investment to speak of. In fact, it has led only to a great worsening of the situation for us. India must resort to no more such useless exercise.

Ill have to disagree with you here. The definition of EEZ (not borders) was to preclude wars for underwater resources, which would result if technology to extract these resources was available, but rules were not. I dont understand how this agreement can be used to reach the conclusion that modern nation states are irredentist.

Of course, the Continental Shelf or the EEZ are not borders in the sense that land borders with enemy counties need to be protected because the sea is uninhabited. They are still patrolled. Yet, the extension seaward of a country's interests is to exploit the vast hidden resources. Irredentism refers to 'recovery of territory' from somebody else. In that sense, the subterfuge of UNCLOS is to enable powerful countries to claim large areas of the sea by a certain date so that less technologically endowed countries could not do so and the unclaimed areas become common area for mankind also susceptible for exploitation by the powerful later on. It is something like Heads-I-win-and-Tails-you-lose.
Also, Kargil happened because no one was watching. Siachen will be watched.

Kargil happened because India trusted that Pakistan will not surreptitiously occupy these salients and features during winter and hence no watching was needed thus proving for the *umpteenth* time that Pakistan was untrustworthy. It even claimed that these areas were not well demarcated thus proving for the *umpteenth* time that Pakistan was a liar and one which does not respect treaties signed by its own President. The story will be repeated at Siachen too. We retrieved Kargil at enormous cost to precious human lives. When war will eventually be thrust on us, the voice of those who now advocate withdrawal from Siachen citing human costs, will grow shriller demanding that there should be dialogue and not a war because their stand otherwise would be untenable and contradictory to their earlier stance. And Siachen will permanently fall into Pakistani hands and possibly even slip into Chinese possession. The Chinese could be breathing down us at Nubra and Shyok.

I really do not know how Siachen will be watched. Eye-in-the-sky can be deceived as we did in 1998. Unmanned sensors on the ground will be very quickly buried in mounds of snow making them worthless. For days together aerial surveillance can get delayed due to weather and even when they fly, they may fail to detect intrusion. These blind periods would be enough for PA to crawl into our land. It will then become impossible to dislodge them. At this point of time, only boots on the ground are our only real defence.

It s a chicken and egg quesiton of what will happen first.. Pakistan giving up Islamism first, or peace facilitating a transition in Pakistan.

No, it is not. Pakistan always wanted to destroy us, even before it was formally born as a nation. Our (or any civil) definition of 'peace' is at total variance with Pakistan's definition. I do not want to go into that now and here because there is a separate thread running for ages in the Strat Forum.

What large areas have been ceded other than Shaksgam valley, which is another impossible/indefensible place anyway?

Many are aware of the Chinese PLA soldiers, estimated at about 11000, having occupied portions of Balwaristan. On April 5, 2011, the Northern Area Commander of the Indian Army, Lt. Gen. K.T.Parnaik said that Chinese troops were now seen stationed along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. A few days later, American Intelligence agencies independently confirmed, through technical intelligence, the presence of PLA along the LoC in PoK. The presence of the PLA has spread from the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) area which they entered in c. 2009 to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) now (though technically GB is part of POK as well as far as India is concerned).

You put 'desolate peaks and crags' in scare quotes, as if my statement is an exaggeration or somehow misleading. :-) Am I to understand that you disagree?

After having seen a very, very close family member posted twice in these very same 'desolate peaks and crags', I cannot disagree to its physical, geographical and topographical description. My frequent reference to these 'desolate peaks and crags' is conditioned by my allergy to the 'not-a-blade-of-grass-grows-there' line of reasoning which unfortunately this 'desolate peaks and crags' reminds me.

There is neither a prospect of a two front war, neither is the tri junction of any strategic importance.

Many think otherwise but you have a dfferent opinion. You are entitled to it.
Safety of Colaba is hardly impacted by a brigade sitting at Siachen.

It is similar to your Alaska argument. I did not say that the brigade at Siachen would stop terrorism in India. Please.
1. Stop cartographic aggression to be followed by physical occupation by the Pak Army, at a time when two major powers (and perhaps Britain) were ready to go with the Pak interpretation of the border.
2. Show political determination to guard all parts of Indian territory, by force if necessary. I.e. we would not shy away from fighting salami slicing operations by Pakistan. This at a time when the Indian economy was not doing great, while Pakistan's was, and they were the most allied ally of USA.

For (1), Today, the situation is reverse. All major powers, will gladly (except China) go with whatever agreement is reached between India and Pakistan about the AGPL. Saltoro is in our possession, and possession being 9/10s the law, any demarcation here will be more or less along our interpretation of the border.

For (2), Pakistan is internationally isolated while we are in G20 and powerful world bodies.. This will become even more so, as the NATO withdrawal takes place and the weapon of Nato supply lines vanishes. Our political determination is amply demonstrated via Kargil and Siachen operations, and the Narsimha Rao sponsored unanimous Loksabha resolution about Kashmir being a inviolable part of India.

IMHO, we have lost sight of these political goals, and instead (in Gen Hoons words) have invented the strategic significance of Siachen.

This was how we lost the rest of J&K. We had an Instrument of Accession signed by the Maharajah who was the sole person who could take the decision on behalf of his state. As an additional matter of caution, Nehru wanted the principal antagonist and the then popular people's leader, Sheikh Abdullah, to endorse the decision too. Even the not-so-friendly UN passed a resolution asking Pakistan to withdraw its troops and hand over POK to India to conduct a plebiscite after establishing a peaceful environment. I don't need to ask the question what happened since then.

This excessive and unnatural reliance on 'major powers' is our greatest undoing. Why should these so-called 'major powers' dispense justice in the disputes of other nations ? Why should we even expect that they will keep aside their interests and be neutral ? They after all practice realpolitik for their and only their benefit. We have been and continue to be a victim of their realpolitik for decades now. These are too obvious and too basic to be even debated any further.

Gentlemen, I hate to break it to you, but we have won the Kashmir war, and Pakistan has lost, and its time to start thinking about what the eventual peace with Pakistan will look like.

But, a little later you said, "Please remember, we are not in the position of having defeated them in war.. so cant exactly dictate terms.". How do the two square up ?
Peace will be impossible, if any concessions to Pakistan are opposed with such vehemence. Please remember, we are not in the position of having defeated them in war.. so cant exactly dictate terms. Also, the last set of people who talked about ".. square inches of land" were not exactly paragons of virtue.

So, you accept that we have to 'concede'. At least, it was not said that Pakistan's claim on Siachen was legally right. Thank God for small mercies. BTW, who were these 'last set of people' and why are they not exactly 'paragons of virtue' ?
Lastly, its incorrect to cast Pakistan in the image of one monolithic Islamist horde. Its correct that the nation was born of quixotic notions, but within the Pakistani system, there are serious fault lines and a full spectrum of Islamism, from the coy, harmless Najam Sethi, Hasan Nisar version, to the full blown jihadi Zaid Hamid, Hamid Gul version.

Oh yes. You take any country or any situation, there will be some 'for' and some 'against'. How many such coy and harmless people you can count in Pakistan, what is their influence on decision making there and what is their perception of India ? The serious fault-lines do exist in Pakistan but for entirely different reasons such as sub-nationalism, water sharing, sectarianism etc. I hope that you did not mean, even inadvertently, that serious faultlines exist on account of some powerful and mass-based influential groups wanting overhaul of six decades of Pakistani approach to India and others opposing that.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby peter » 26 May 2012 12:02

sudeepj wrote:
ramana wrote:I think advocating vacating Indian territory with TSP track record of perfidy and creeping expansion is tantamount to treachery. IF TSP was so innocent and such vacating would lead to reducing the tensions its another matter. But TSP is not innocent and has shown repeated intent to occupy Indian territory. Especially after this how can one demand India "show courage" and vacate their own lands which we know TSP has a track record of occupying?


You need to be a little bit more circumspect with these labels, particularly because you are a moderator and your tone sets the score for the entire forum.


Sure but an argument needs to have logic to stand on its feet. You still have not answered if not Siachen what line of the border should India defend on its frontiers with Pakistan?

And the related question is are you aware of the reasons why Arabs had spectacular success in Africa/Spain/Arabia/Persia while they did not succeed against India for almost 300 years of constant trying?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 26 May 2012 12:37

Well, if after all this debate, if people feel that Siachen has no strategic importance, then, I guess, we need to lay the debate to rest. People still see Siachen in isolation - while the fact is that the defenses in the area comprising of Siachen-Turtok (SSW)-SSH-Batalik-Chorbat La-Kargil-DBO Complex(SSN) are interconnected.

The compulsion to hold area just north and east of NJ9842 with respect to security of SSW has already been detailed by me earlier. The threat is not only to the Turtok-Chalunka Complex but manifests itself right up to THOISE. Any ingress by the PA in the sector can allow them to keep a look-out on the air traffic at THOISE and interfere with it. This is the most vulnerable area. Now, if you have to dominate the heights here (called Bahadur Complex by the IA), you need to dominate the heights north of it as well. As is obvious, you have the domino effect of requiring to hold the entire Saltoro Ridge.

Please see the pic below - here you can see the valleys leading from LOC (marked orange) towards Chalunka, Bogdang and Waris. THOISE is west of these valleys along the Shyok.

Image


Coming to interconnected nature of the defenses - any threat, or worse loss of Turtok, will put pressure on the defenses in the Batalik Sector and Sub-Sector Haneef (east of LOC - area between Turtok in north and Batalik in south). PA can outflank the defenses in the area by coming south from Turtok towards Chorbat la and Batalik - all the time putting pressure from across the LOC in west to east direction on this Chorbat-La/Batalik sector. You'll have a classic pincer on the sector.

Please see the map below - Turtok Lungpa is the rivulet or nullah which flows in south-east direction towards Turtok from the mountain south of it. One of the main reasons for reinforcing post haste Chorbat La in 1999 was to ensure that PA does not outflank Turtok sector by first gaining foot hold in the Chorbat La area and then coming down Turtok Lungpa. And IIRC,we just about beat them to the pass.

Image

Now, coming to requirement for defense of Siachen - There are two parts to this point (a) defense Siachen Glacier w/o holding the Saltoro Ridge or the high ground around the glacier (b) subsequent safety of the Nubra Valley.

Coming to Part (a) - People need to remember a simple but cardinal principle of mountain warfare - he who controls the heights, controls the battle. Please see the picture below:

Image

You can see a faint yellow marker - this is Dzingrulma - Indian base camp for Siachen. It sits in the Nubra Valley - the river can be seen next to it. The Saltoro Ridge is to the west. The pic highlights the terrain in this area - *Narrow* valleys surrounding by very steep mountain walls. The valleys do not afford any depth. Now, if I wanted to make life untenable for Indians here, all I need to do is to sit on the mountain ridges surrounding the valley - sounds familiar? Kargil, 1999? All movement of men and material will be under the watch of the enemy and the enemy can interfere with any such movement. Options for IA will be (a) to either outflank the position and go for the support/supply base and cut off the positions - which IA would have done in 1999 if it was allowed to cross the LOC. (b) frontal assaults.

With the enemy likely to hold the entire ridge in continuous and mutually supporting fashion, outflanking will become impossible. And the real estate to mount offensives against mountain.ridge top positions is simply not there - that is why PA has not been able to take any of IA positions on Saltoro.

Here is another look at sector - The valley going in northern direction is the Nubra Valley and leads up to the snout of the Siachen glacier. The Dzingrulma marker (faint yellow) can be seen in the northern section of the picture. The valley going on north-west direction is the Shyok River Valley which follows into Northern Areas west of Turtok (north west on the map). THOISE can be seen on the map.

Image

Now, apply the same arguments about Dzingrulma to these two valleys - can these valleys be protected and maintained w/o commanding the heights to their north and north west? And do you think PA will simply sit on Saltoro and not probe further to make life difficult for the Indians in these two valleys? Do you think IAF can maintain operations in THOISE if it comes under observation of PA troops sitting on those heights?

Let me give you an example - remember the Bana Post? The reason that post was so important to PA was because it gave then a Field of View of *40 kms* every where - they could see Indian air maintenance efforts coming up the glacier as they were at a height higher than the flying profile of the helicopters and TpT aircraft. And that is why we paid the price we did to evict them from this post.

As for logistics of maintaining troops by PA - well, no one thought Kargil was possible or Siachen was possible. It is a fallacy to assume that PA will simply sit on Saltoro - don't forget that they claim the *entire glacier* and area right up to KK Pass. That is what they will be wanting to reinforce.

Let us stop these argument about "no strategic importance" of Siachen and that we can defend the Valleys w/o controlling the heights. If we loose Saltoro, we'll need to control the next series of high ground - let us be very clear about it and the whole process of Siachen 1984 will repeat itself.


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