Siachen expedition in September
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, July 25: Ignoring Pakistan's protests, the Indian Army is organising a civilian mountaineering and trekking expedition to the Siachen Glacier in September for the fourth year in a row.
"The Siachen trekking expedition this year will be held from September 1 to 27 and civilian mountaineers will be taken up to heights of more than 15,000 feet in the glacier area," an Army official said here.
The expedition, the first of which was held in 2007 after a gap of 30 years, is meant to show to the international community that Indian troops hold the Siachen Glacier area and Pakistan does not have any claim over it.
After the Army announced its plans to take a civilian expedition to Siachen, Pakistan had lodged a strong protest in 2007, calling it "incongruous" to ongoing peace efforts between the two countries.
Despite protests from Pakistan, India maintains that it does not need Pakistan's approval to send trekkers to the 78 km-long Siachen, which is essentially an Indian territory.
The expedition was to be held last year also but had to be called off in view of the cloud burst in Leh.
This year's expedition will include between 40 to 45 people who will be selected from various agencies.
The expedition members are acclimatised in the initial period of the trek before they proceed towards the heights which experience temperatures between minus 15 to minus 25 degrees during nights, they said.
India and Pakistan have been holding Defence Secretary- level talks to resolve the Siachen issue with any fruitful results.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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