"To avoid any kind of a contingency that we have to try to reclaim something:" Narayanan

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan have presented "various options or recommendations" on the Siachen issue, but are yet to reach the final point, according to National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan.

"I don't think we have reached the final point but I think we are closer to that," he said. "In any case, there are a lot of issues to be discussed. There is the entire area of whether we start off in a phased manner. I think it will take a little more time."

Asked about the minimum conditions that India would expect Pakistan to meet, Mr. Narayanan said: "I don't think we are laying any conditions. The only point is that we are occupying positions on the Saltoro Bridge. If we move back and if for some reason it becomes necessary to go back, it becomes so much more difficult.

"We want to avoid any kind of a contingency that we have to try to reclaim something which we had. So we want certain ironclad guarantees that that would not happen. It is not that we are laying down conditions."

Authentication

On whether Pakistan had agreed to the authentication of the present ground positions of troops along the 74-km glacier, he said: "They have not accepted it the way we want it to be authenticated... some discussions are still going on." The two countries were talking about "specific grid references and on-ground positions."

Globally, there were "certain accepted ways to authenticate. We want to be clear that later on somebody will not say this is not what is meant."

Mr. Narayanan said: "This is not a kind of floating an idea. This is a military manoeuvre. You are moving back. When forces move back or move forward, there are certain accepted precepts, principles and concepts. So, we have to adhere to them."

India has said it can be done only after proper authentication, endorsed by both countries, of the present troop positions of both countries in view of the Kargil experience.

The two sides are engaged in deciding how to treat the area after "disengagement." They have been holding discussions on what to do with the line beyond Point Northern Junction (NJ) 9842 where the Line of Control ends. PTI