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Updated: May 2, 2012 14:09 IST

It's time to resolve Siachen, says Kayani

Anita Joshua
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Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at the site of the recent avalanche that killed 124 soldiers and 11 civilians in the Siachen Glacier. This photograph was taken on April 8. Photo: AFP
AFP Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at the site of the recent avalanche that killed 124 soldiers and 11 civilians in the Siachen Glacier. This photograph was taken on April 8. Photo: AFP

Pakistan Army Chief calls for peaceful coexistence with India

Calling for demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier for the development of Pakistan and environmental reasons, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday advocated peaceful coexistence with India, adding that the civil and military leaderships of the two countries should discuss ways to resolve the issue.

Interacting with journalists at Skardu after visiting Gayari — the site of the avalanche in Siachen that buried 124 soldiers of the 6 Northern Light Infantry and 11 civilians early on April 7 — General Kayani said Pakistan was not manning those treacherous heights out of choice. “The world knows why we are in Siachen,” referring to the Pakistani narrative that it was India which started this dispute in 1984.

“This conflict should be resolved. How it is done is to be decided by the military and civil leaderships of the two countries,” General Kayani said, pointing out that the issue had been discussed several times. “Sometimes we get close to a resolution but then issues come up.”

Defence budget

Maintaining that peaceful coexistence between the two neighbours was very important, the COAS said the Army understood well the need to bring down the defence budget. “We in the Army understand very well that there should be a very good balance between defence and development because ultimately security does not only mean secure borders but the welfare of the people. We would like to spend less on defence; any country should do the same way.”

Global problem

About the harm caused to the environment by the military occupation of the Siachen glacier, General Kayani conceded the point. “This is the glacier that feeds our rivers, particularly the Indus. We understand that physical deployment of troops will affect our rivers and water management is needed.” In fact, according to him, the effect of militarisation of Siachen on the environment was not just a local issue but a global problem.

Retrieval of bodies

As to how long the Army proposed to continue with the ongoing operations to recover bodies of the men buried under 80 feet of snow, the COAS said that till every man was located. “If we have to take out this mountain, we will do that. It is not time-bound. We are not going to give up on this,” he asserted, pointing out that the highest Pakistani post in Siachen was at a height of 22,300 ft, where the soldiers survive without oxygen and proper heating.

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Even now Kayani is thinking of PEACE with India as Pakistan cannot
afford to run its military on huge budget being distrusted by US and
deprived of its large aid.It is economic expediency and no change of
heart.Actions of Pakistan from its very day of birth till date bear
ample proof of hatred.India should ensure compliance by Pakistan to
conditions on peace before even talking to them.That will make them
realise how dear is peace which we were proposing for 65
years.Pakistan should be made to answer for the loss of all the
Indian lives over this period due to their belligerence.Any mediation
in this process by any third party should also be resisted.India can
have peace with its neighbors but on its own terms.

from:  raghavan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 03:54 IST

Gen Kayani, is hugely respected for his professionalism in Pakistan. He is different from the previous COAS, and is respected by both the political parties.
Times are changing, and India and Pakistan are contemplating greater commercial interaction. We have to look forwards and take Kayani's words on face value, without digging up evil intentions.
Yesterday it was Pakistani army that suffered and tomorrow it could be our boys.

from:  Dr RKRAO REBBAPRAGADA
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 00:19 IST

This is good sign. This may mean the Pakistani Army has lost the HQ or the main base for their troops in the avalanche. This means it can't re-supply Pakistani forward positions effectively. It doesn't want Indian Army to take this undefended posts by making pre-emptive diplomatic noises.
Its time to dislodge the Pakistani Army from their posts and deny Pakistan access to the entire Glacier.

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 23:38 IST

Do u really agree /beleive with the Paki army chief
I do not and history says the same
Paki's were promoted and created by British to control us,
Little did they know the snake ill bite them
I am sure there MP'S still support the PAKI'S for votes in BRADFORD
We have to be carefull and not be fooled by this nonsense,
MALGUDI

from:  malgudi
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 22:14 IST

Elementary geography dictates that India cannot withdraw from Siachen since it is a vantage point to monitor both POK and Chinese Occupied Kashmir. But Kayani can certainly take all his troops out from Siachen unilaterally. In fact he should withdraw from Gilgit and other occupied areas as well since they are a huge drain on Pakistan's economy.

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 21:07 IST

It reminds me of the story FOX IN A FIX

from:  Gregory
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 17:50 IST

India must, and simply MUST, get Pakistan to secede its claim on
Siachen. It is the first step in reclaiming the State of Kashmir in
its entirety. It may not be an economically useful territory (at the
moment), but it is definitely important as a protective barrier
against insurgents and attacks from Pakistan and China. The entire are
must be given the utmost importance.
All disputed territories in India must continue to be non-negotiable.
Let Pakistan and China understand that they cannot continue trying to
break this ancient country into further pieces.

from:  Anirvan Roy
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 15:34 IST

What talks have failed so far, nature has been able to accomplish.

from:  Ramji
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 14:15 IST

Comments written by sensible as well war mongers in India are worth reading and thought provoking. Lasting peace between the neighbours can only be on a win-win situation. War mongers in India should also keep in mind the mindset of a Suicide Bomber which has been very well explained in a Hindi saying " Hum to Doobe hain sanam tum ko be ley doobein ge " and world knows that Pakistan has the means to prove this saying as correct. Let us prove that sub-continent people are not idiots. So let us give peace a chance and work for the betterment of ordinary people living on both sides of the divide.

from:  Masood Zaidi
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 12:48 IST

If there is war that war will be fought for water Siachen is one of the
world's largest fresh water reservoir.And India shouldn't in any manner demilitarize Siachen unless she is confident. Basically trusting
pakistan is very difficult.We have to protect our fresh water sources.

from:  Mohammed Thanveer
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 12:29 IST

Pakistan is one of those countries most affected by extremism.Both India
and Pakistan has spent 15-25% of their budget estimate in maintenance
and modernization of defense sector. Now time has come to cut our
defense expenditure and invest more in sector like health ,rural
development ,sanitation,industry,education etc.Let us need to forget the
issues of old rivals.Give them a chance.It will be the win-win situation
for both the countries.

from:  Sandip Kumar Saha
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 12:27 IST

Kayani is correct in saying that it is unfortunate that both countries are wasting a lot of resources in Siachen. However, he is wrong in describing the reasons behind the conflict.Pakistan started the conflict in 1947 by invading Kashmir (using tribesmen as well as army men). Today they continue to arm, train and aid terrorist groups that attack Kashmir and the rest of India. Given all of this, it is unrealistic for Kayani to expect India to withdraw its army

from:  Ram Us
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 11:33 IST

Actions speak louder than words. Past hostilities from Pakistan have made it difficult for us to trust them. Only if Pakistan acts amiably in the coming years, we can take the liberty of trusting them and reducing troops along the border.

from:  Ashish
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 11:04 IST

Perhaps now there is some realization on the part of Pakistani rulers that neither India nor Pakistan can live peacefully if trouble spots like Siachen are given fresh lease of life. Let us accept that both India and Pakistan consider it right to have its presence in the Siachen valley though it is also accepted that both countries are paying heavily for protecting their strategic interests in the region. If Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan is sincere, he should accept that Pakistan has to make a beginning to reduce tensions between two countries. It was Pakistan which forced wars on us. Pakistan’s relationship with India has become strained on account of Pakistan’s unwise involvement in the Kashmir issue.

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 10:09 IST

remember Kargil any one? Don't trust these guys. Let there be credible
evidence that Pak has dismantled terror infra targeting India and then
lets talk about Demilitarization.

from:  chandra
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 09:51 IST

they talk of mutual coexistence and on the contrary patronize terrorists
and deploy infiltrators...the whole world knows that Pakistan is the hub
of terrorists...we the Indians also want an end to this ever prevailing
border disputes...i dont think dialogues are helping quite a lot the
reason being lack of willingness on the pak side...i hope to see a
solution to this in near future...

from:  ANAMIKA JHA
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 09:28 IST

It's true just give up the SIACHEN glacier to India and move out. Demilitarizing it is
opening the door for China to move in. What a sly move?

from:  Dr.Krishna
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 08:43 IST

expenditures for so-called defense programs take away from other critical national needs. general Kayani has to be thanked for expressing the obvious, yet necessary truth: Both India and Pakistan General Kayani has stated the obvious: War (and all its trimmings) is bad for humanity. War is always a symptom of a diseased international system, and it is quite significant that an Army Chief now says that the the development priorities of nations are at risk with the militarization of international issues. It is, after all, the Military establishment and the its political allies who propel nations toward war-based policies. Even in countries where the military is supposedly subservient to the civilian authority, massivewould find the resources for much civilian improvement in living conditions for their people if the burden of the present military expenditures could be significantly reduced. It is now time to build trust on both sides, with transparent negotiations among the governments

from:  Abhi Buch
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 08:42 IST

Changing time, changing tunes! Now deprived of the charity oxygen
successive US administrations were providing, Pakistan is realising
the futility one up man ship with India and the fatal damage it is
causing to the nation. Any way better late than never and Pakistan will find Indian democratic leadership more than sympathetic and reciprocate discernible positives.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 08:37 IST

General Kayani has stated the obvious: War (and all its trimmings) is bad for humanity. War is always a symptom of a diseased international system, and it is quite significant that an Army Chief now says that the the development priorities of nations are at risk with the militarization of international issues. It is, after all, the Military establishment and the its political allies who propel nations toward war-based policies. Even in countries where the military is supposedly subservient to the civilian authority, massive expenditures for so-called defense programs take away from other critical national needs. general Kayani has to be thanked for expressing the obvious, yet necessary truth: Both India and Pakistan would find the resources for much civilian improvement in living conditions for their people if the burden of the present military expenditures could be significantly reduced. It is now time to build trust on both sides, with transparent negotiations among the governments

from:  Abhi Buch
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 08:33 IST

Will he act on what he has said? This is the first time a millitary chief from Pakistan has spoken reasonably. Hope, he follows up and tries to prove what he had spoken is really he meant.

from:  C.Jeyabalan
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 08:30 IST

For the first time I have heard a constructive and meaningful approach
of Pakistani Army Chief that welfare of people of Pakistan through
development is not less important than protecting boarders. He also
advocated for less spending on defence. It has been reported that
Nawaz Sharif of PML-N, the former Premier of Pakistan has advocated
for unilateral withdrawal of Pakistani forces from Siachin glaciers.
Both statements of General Kayani and the former Premier of Pakistan deserve applause by all peace loving people of both the countries. It is a good sign that important personalities in Pakistan are speaking on friendly terms. India should also reciprocate the same feelings. It is not wise to spend on millions of rupees on guarding snow and rock and sacrifice the lives of soldiers in the icy death traps. Though Pakistani army can not be believed, but it should be given a chance to
prove its bona fides.

from:  BIMAL CHANDRA JHAb
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 07:49 IST

Ha ha... Its amusing to hear the General speak of demilitarization after India beat them in their own game with respect to Siachen. Especially how its suddenly "the effect of militarisation of Siachen on the environment was not just a local issue but GLOBAL PROBLEM."
These guys think they are the center of the Universe !!! I would like to India to get out of Siachen too, for the sake of IA soldiers.But with a neighbor like that and a General like him, its not a wise idea. Let them build credibility over a couple of decades with their actions.

from:  Ashish
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 07:41 IST

It is high time to cash in on the goodwill generated on the other side of the border both in the military and the civilian camps.It seems worthless losing out our men and money in protecting such a treacherous border, when there are peaceful options available. Nonetheless a goodwill generated from peaceful solution to this problem may have cascading effect in other points of contention between the two neighbours. And so the situation if handled effectively will create a niche in the bilateral realations paving the way for mutual peace and prosperity.

from:  Pankaj Sharma
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 07:16 IST

Was this avalanche a awake up call ? Or is this another eye wash..
The high himalayan peaks weren't patrolled all year around until after
the Kargil war. The Kargil war happened because some divisions of the
Pakistani army had audacious and over ambitious plans of capturing
areas that were never theirs. But today the pakistani army has realized that no army is a match for mother nature's fury.Its time they realise that India is not the one they should be fighting but the internal political and economic turmoil their country is going through is the true enemy.

from:  Govind Diwakar
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 07:14 IST

Finally, the Pakistani military brasses realize the futility of enmity with India in the hope of annexing Kashmir someday! They thought, the free flow of dollars and armanents that flowed to Pakistan in earlier days from US, Britain and others will continue endlessly and they can continue inflicting thousand cuts on India to weaken it and for their pervert self satisfaction. Times have changed. Pakistan is now seen as a failed state churning out terrorists in their madrasas. Pakistan's credibility in the world is at its nadir and its economy is in shambles. Now the Pak military chief and others want the Siachen region demilitarized. Government of India should consider their request but on condition that Pakistan should also close down all the terrorists camps in Pak held Kashmir. India was foolish to have given back strategic heights retrieved from Pakistan in Kashmir in the three wars with out any quid-pro-quo. Such foolishness should not be allowed to repeat.

from:  Balarajan P.
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 07:12 IST

This is the time to get involved in serious diplomatic solutions to reduction of tension in Chances of full scale war is nil.India must initiate an open debate in reduction of large theatrical defence weapons like fighter plane etc.Instead the improvement of surveillance SYSTEMS using networking for threat analysis be done taking help from academic institutions.

from:  atis
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 06:39 IST

A dramatic change in the mind set of the chief of the Pakistan Army,
Gen.Kayani! From a deep hostile and aggressive attitude that has been
the hall-mark of the Pak.Army from the very inception of it's country
to it's readiness now to talk with the Indian counterpart to settle
all the disputed matters with India. Peaceful coexistence with India!
A sermon that we never heard from them at any time! It is very much
apparent that Pakistan is seeing India now through a different prism.
We should give an equal response, if not more to this call by seizing
this opportunity and set the ball rolling for bringing an everlasting
peace in our sub continent.

from:  T.Sathyamurthi
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 06:04 IST

How sad .... Pakistani soldiers die in an avalanche and Kayani is suddenly a dove. He is all for peace with India! India can hold out much longer than Pakistan - our economy is 10 times theirs. And their economy is propped up only by U.S and IMF aid. Let them spend their way to oblivion. We hold the heights in Siachen. If Kiyani really wants peace, let him dismantle all terror camps in PoK, hand us Hafiz Sayeed, Dawood Ibrahim and scores of others we have sent across in several dossiers.
Given all this "sudden noise" about Siachen, all concerned Indian
citizens need to be worried about an impending sell-out on Siachen. We dont want a repeat of the Haji Pir Pass, which our brave Army won with their blood, only to have our politicians gift it back to Pakistan after the 1965 war!

from:  Prem Kumar
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 05:48 IST

Pakistan seems to have no choice. With the US taking a very hostile posture and the opinion of influential and rich countries being very unfavorable, they are looking for a compromise with India. India should be careful and proceed with great caution, this disease of terror is not likely to go away overnight. One shouldn't trust a deadly cobra unless it has been properly defanged.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 05:12 IST



From the past how can we belive them? If the statement is sincere,
we can think of a joint guard after clear demarcation of boundery.

from:  william f.
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 04:48 IST

Who would have thought this day will come when Pak chief Kayani talks of reducing defense spending to improve welfare of the people! Finally it may dawn on Kayani that in today's world military might just one dimension of a country's strength - otherwise N. Korea with its missiles and nukes would be one of the most powerful country in the world contrary to its pitiable desperate and destitute status. Pakistan is heading the same way as N. Korea and Kayani suddenly realizes with the US withdrawing from Afghanistan and Bin Laden neutralized the US money train is coming to a screeching halt. So now Kayani sings the sweet songs of peace and harmony. India remembers the treachery of Kargil and Mumbai attack, only deed will tell if Kayani means what he says. India should have its guards up, Kayani won't hesitate to take advantage of any weakness as it happened in Kargil. Kayani can make a start by bringing the masterminds of Mumbai attack to justice, else it is just talk and PR exercise.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 04:27 IST

Hitler also spoke about peaceful resolution but never meant it. So, don't be fooled by Kiyani's insincere pronouncements designed to fool Indians.

from:  Hyder Ali
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 04:16 IST

Finally sanity prevails and General Kayani is saying the obvious. Huge sums of money wasted on Defence has crippled Pakistan and is also a burden on India. Any steps to reduce these costs will certainly help development. The latest article in the Dawn suggests that Pakistan is imploding and this sentiment is no longer a minority view. Kayani has to address the problem,return the military to the barracks, allow the Civilian Government to set the priorities, which will inevitably mean, less for the military. India should seize this opportunity and invite Kayani for talks . The entire region should focus on economic growth and shelve priorities of the last century. Dr. Singh has shown what a growth led policy can do to the confidence of a nation.

from:  v v gita
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 03:40 IST

We are ready for demilitarization of our entire border. But can we trust
them.

from:  Indian
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 03:21 IST

How come Gen. Kayani is talking sense all of a sudden. With foreign aid having dried up the starving failed state seems to be getting back its senses instead of brinkmanship !?

from:  Avinasha
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 03:10 IST

This is welcome news indeed. Now he can prove that he means what he says, by ending ISI support for LeT and other militant organizations. Let him be judged by his actions.

from:  Gopal Vaidya
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 03:08 IST

Sorry for my pessimistic comment, but this is all a lie.
First, Arm does not talk about talks with their enemy and giving a
chance for peace. Especially Pakistani army. As this is the job of the
political leaders or whoever the leader is (ideally non-military if a
democratic country).Second, any unguarded territory of India bordering have been attacked even in the times of peaceful talks, so this action cannot be relied upon.Third, this territory is bordering with China too, so it’s not just the Pakistanis we need to worry about.
..and Good Indian Diplomats answer would be a Polite “NO”

from:  vignesh
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 03:06 IST

I would take these words with a bit caution. All these years gen kayani was a soldier ready to annihilate Satanic India. Now come all these words of peace overnight after the avalanche tragedy.Is it not funny?

from:  Kamath
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 03:03 IST

It is utterly nonsensical of Indian government to deploy army on
deadly,environmentally fragile Siachen.there not a blade of grass
grow,but we spent thousands of crores every year.Siachen is now
become a plastic ,garbage center.that showing hollowness of our claim
about environment protection.Experts goes hoarse about cutting social
spending that supports millions,but wickedly silent these unjustified
expenditure and loss of worthless human lives.

from:  abhinav mishra
Posted on: Apr 19, 2012 at 02:45 IST
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