NATIONAL

Siachen is safe, says Antony

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Wednesday said "there was no question" of demilitarising the Siachen Glacier till Pakistan agreed to authenticate the positions held by troops of both sides.

"If they do it [jointly marking current troop positions on a map], we can think of other issues," he told newspersons after delivering the valedictory address at a seminar on defence finance and economics.

"As far as Siachen is concerned, our basic stand is consistent. We have a precondition that they must recognise the ground realities on the glacier. Siachen was safe, is safe and will continue to remain safe. No demilitarisation can be undertaken unless Pakistan agrees to authenticate the present ground positions on the glacier," he said.

On the Chinese Ambassador's claim that Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory, he said: "Tawang, a small area in Arunachal Pradesh, is part and parcel of India."

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