Islamabad to push for Siachen settlement again during Indo-Pak talks
Islamabad, June 11 (ANI): Islamabad will renew a proposal seeking the immediate demilitarisation of the world's highest battlefield, Siachen, and a troop pullback to the 1984 positions, when senior officials from Pakistan and India begin talks here today to resolve the 28-year-old dispute.
The two-day discussions between the defence secretaries of both countries will take place amid calls by Pakistan to seek a settlement on Siachen, after an avalanche buried 140 people, including 129 soldiers and 11 civilians on April 7 at Gayari sector, reports The Express Tribune.
Indian Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma will lead the India delegation at talks with Pakistan authorities.
A Pakistani official said Islamabad had handed over a 'non-paper' to India envisaging a clear roadmap for the longstanding problem during the last round of talks held in New Delhi last year.
"We expect to hear India's response in the discussions," the official was quoted, as saying.
India wants Pakistan to authenticate the 110-kilometre actual ground position line (AGPL) along the Siachen Glacier and the Saltoro ridge in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistani officials claim that India fears that a troop pullback would set a troubling precedent and put pressure on New Delhi to resolve the festering dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Siachen conflict began in 1984 when Indian forces launched a successful operation to force Pakistani troops to retreat west of Saltoro ridge. Since then, the two countries have fought intermittently in the region, only to agree on a ceasefire in 2003.
Over 2,000 troops have died from both sides, a majority of them due to harsh weather conditions rather than combat. (ANI)
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