Starting with Siachen
For the past some time Siachen has frequently come up in the statements of Indian and Pakistani leaders. The dispute over the world’s highest military zone came in for renewed attention after more than 120 soldiers were buried in an avalanche last month. This prompted a specific call for the resolution of the dispute over the glacier by Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Ashfaq Kiyani. India was prompt to welcome the statement. However, now the defence minister A K Antony has made it clear that India would insist on proper authentication by Pakistan of the troop positions in Siachen before any disengagement is undertaken. He also cautioned against expecting any “dramatic” result from the next round of talks in June on the vexed issue. Pakistan, on the other hand, wants an unconditional demilitarization of the glacier. This has once again set back the chances of agreement on the issue between the two countries. It may also happen that the two countries end up only reiterating their current positions on the dispute, much like they do on Kashmir. But the recent developments in their relations which is likely to be capped by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Islamabad in the near future holds a prospect of some major headway. Singh has signalled his keenness to make the visit a meaningful exercise. He wants the two countries to do the groundwork for an agreement on some contentious issue. It may well be that Pakistan will grant MFN status to India during this visit and New Delhi may offer to move on Siachen and also take further forward the CBMs on Kashmir. Situation is very sensitively poised. The two countries are at the cusp of a new era with economy assuming the centre stage in their relations. At the same time, the region is headed for a profound geo-political transformation with US exiting from Afghanistan in 2014. This calls for a mature handling of the transition to a new order so as to ensure that both countries benefit rather than relapse into a renewed cycle of violence and hostility. And for that to happen the issues that divide them need to be resolved. Let Siachen be the beginning.
MoS Home also rejected the allegations of use of force by police on the employees.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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