Army watches as Siachen dialogue resumes

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by nitesh, May 30, 2011.

  1. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Army watches as Siachen dialogue resumes

    And, wonders whether what was bought with blood and guts will be bartered for a later regret.

    On a moonless night in Siachen, in May 1987, 2nd Lt Rajiv Pande’s 13-man patrol silently climbed towards Quaid Post, a 21,153-ft pinnacle near the crucial pass of Bilafond La, held by 17 Pakistani soldiers. Quaid had to be captured and Pande was fixing ropes on the near-vertical, 1,500-ft ice wall just below the post, to assist a larger follow-on force in making a physical assault. As the jawans fixed the ropes, gasping for breath in that oxygen-depleted altitude, Pak sentries just a few hundred feet above heard them. Gunfire rang out, killing nine Indians, including Pande. But the four survivors could tell their unit, 8 Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (8 JAK LI), that the ropes were fixed.

    Capturing Quaid post was vital, being the only Pak post that dominated key Indian positions at Bilafond La. Realising its importance, Pakistan named it after Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The post, commanded by Subedar Ataullah Mohammed, was held by commandoes from the elite Special Services Group.

    With the ropes in place, 8 JAK LI helicoptered an assault team to Bilafond La. Since the Cheetah helicopter can only ferry a single passenger in those extreme heights, and because of frequent blizzards, it took 25 days for the team to gather. On June 23, commanded by Major Virendar Singh, 64 soldiers began the attack. All night, they searched in waist-deep snow for the rope fixed by Pande’s patrol. Unable to find it, they fell back to base.

    The next night, a silent cheer went up as the rope was found. In single file, with rifles slung across their backs, the first section (10 men) started the ascent to Quaid, crossing en route the bodies of Pande and his patrol, still roped together in death. Halfway up, the Pak defenders spotted them and opened murderous fire. Pinned to the ice wall and unable to fire back — their weapons had suffered “cold arrest”, jammed solid from the minus-25 degrees cold — the assault team sheltered in craters formed by artillery shells. There they spent the entire day exposed, frozen, hungry and under Pak fire.

    At nightfall on the 25th, the attack began anew. Now the neighbouring Indian posts —Sonam and Amar — also fired at Quaid, supplementing an artillery barrage. But each metre gained was paid for in blood; every Indian casualty needed four comrades to ferry him down. A brief rest, a cup of tea, and the four helpers were thrown back into battle.

    “By any measure, we should have dropped from exhaustion,” said Major Virendar Singh, describing the events to Business Standard. “But Pande had to be avenged, and the relentless firing from Quaid reminded us of what we had to do.”

    By daybreak on the 26th, it became evident that capturing Quaid post would need a daylight frontal assault. With the entire army brass’ attention riveted on this unfolding drama, the brigade commander, Brigadier Chandan Nugyal, radioed Virendar, promising him fire support from every artillery gun in range if he could finish the job.

    “I knew we would not last another night on a bar of 5-Star chocolate. We fixed the attack for noon,” says Virendar.

    After a massive barrage of artillery fire, Virendar closed onto the post with his eight-man assault party. Simultaneously, another small team outflanked Quaid from below and cut the ropes the Pakistanis used. Subedar Mohammad knew the game was up. Four defenders jumped off the post, preferring instant death in the abyss below to being shot or bayoneted in combat. :pound::pound:The two remaining ones quickly killed. By 3 pm, the Indian assault party staggered onto Quaid.

    “We had no strength to celebrate. At 21,000 feet, nobody does the bhangra, yells war cries or hoists the tricolour. Ultimately, sheer doggedness wins. If we had once hesitated, Quaid would still be with Pakistan,” recounts Virendar. An admiring army awarded a Param Vir Chakra to Naib Subedar Bana Singh of the assault party and renamed Quaid post Bana Top; and a Maha Vir Chakra and seven Vir Chakras to other bravehearts of 8 JAK LI. Virendar, severely wounded by an artillery shell after Quaid post was captured, won a Vir Chakra, as did Lt Pande.

    NEGOTIABLE?
    Indian posts across Siachen, like Bana Top, many won at similar cost, will be on the negotiating table today and tomorrow, as the defence secretaries of India and Pakistan meet for the 12th round of dialogue to resolve the Siachen dispute. Pakistan — for whom Siachen represents a stinging defeat at the hands of the Indian Army — wants to erase that memory by “demilitarising” Siachen. It wants both sides to vacate their positions and pull back to an agreed line, well short of the glacier. But the Indian Army has little trust for its Pak counterpart after the Kargil intrusion and years of fighting terrorism. It asks: How do we know that Pakistan will not reoccupy Siachen after we withdraw? How can you assure us that we will not have to capture Bana Top again?

    During the earlier rounds of dialogue that began in 1985, New Delhi had demanded a signed map from Pakistan, showing its forward troop locations, as a prerequisite for a Siachen settlement. Pakistan demurs, ostensibly because that would “legitimise” India’s “intrusion” into Siachen. Rawalpindi’s refusal to authenticate its positions scuttled all previous dialogue. The reason for that reluctance, the Indian Army believes, is that a signed map would clearly show how badly Pakistan was beaten in Siachen. Although Pakistan terms it “the Siachen dispute”, its forward-most positions cannot even see the glacier. From April 13, 1984, when an all-volunteer Indian force was helicoptered to Bilafond La, India’s complete control of the Saltoro Ridge has shut Pakistan out of Siachen.

    Over the years, at enormous cost in dead and injured, the Indian Army has developed enormous skill at surviving at “super altitudes”. In the 1980s, casualties from frostbite and altitude sickness ran in the hundreds. By the end of the last decade, they were down to 20-22 per year. During the past eight years, nobody has died. Today, barely 10-12 soldiers are evacuated annually. And, the introduction of the high-altitude capable Dhruv helicopter has further increased the military’s capacity to move troops and materials to the glacier.


    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has termed Siachen “a mountain of peace”, and has tended to view it as a bargaining chip in the larger dialogue process with Pakistan. For the Indian Army, though, Siachen symbolises a superhuman feat of arms, sustained over decades. Generals today recall that the blood-soaked capture of the strategic Haji Pir Pass in 1965 was undone at the negotiating table in Tashkent. And, many wonder whether history is about to repeat itself.
     
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  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    India and Pakistan should remain posted where they are, says Siachen hero Bana Singh - India - DNA

    Honorary Captain (retd) Bana Singh, the man who won Siachen glacier for India, vouches for peaceful and amicable solution to the long pending row over the world’s highest battlefield.

    Ahead of Indo-Pak defence secretary talks on Siachen, Bana, the winner of highest wartime gallantry award Param Vir Chakra (PVC) for the Siachin battle in 1987, told DNA that the war is no solution to any problem.

    “War means bloodshed and it is not going to benefit anyone. Particularly Pakistan which suffered huge losses in 1987 war. Musharaf (former president of Pakistan) was brigade commander then but he totally failed. So both sides should sit across together and solve the issue amicably”, said Bana, a Naib Subadiar 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), who was conferred honorary captain rank before his retirement for displaying exemplary gallantry and valor.

    The Siachen hero, who lives post retirement life at his ancestral village in RS Pora of Jammu, said the best solution for Siachen problem is that both India and Pakistan should remain posted where they are currently.

    “Both sides should remain where they are currently. Positions should remain the same. This is an amicable solution that both sides could work on. I jokingly say that we do not have to cultivate potatoes there. It is a difficult area with hostile weather. So why should we fight on?” he asked.

    Situated at 20,000 feet, the glacier has a 122km border with Pakistan which is called actual ground position line (AGPL).Also known as world highest battlefield, India and Pakistan have fought bloody wars in 1984 and 1987.

    In 1987, Pakistani army suffered major defeat when the Indian army led by Singh captured their “Quaid” post located at 21153 feet which was later renamed “Bana” post.

    The Siachen glacier is one of the contentious issues between India and Pakistan with both countries paying a heavy cost for maintaining and guarding the icy peaks in harsh conditions where temperatures plummet to minus 50 degrees.

    However, for the last eight years, the 150km AGPL in Siachen, is witnessing calm following the border cease-fire in 2003. Before that the AGPL was a regular battlefield with both armies exchanging artillery and small arms fire to pin each other down.
     
  4. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    I seriously hope, we are not going to commit the stupidity by vacating the posts, but interestingly, the pakistanis jumped at the moment when they needed to be defending. Speaks a lot about bravery of pakistanis
     
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  5. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    hope and see, how much we are going to give, as of Non violence means giving it... Peacefully...
     
  6. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    India, Pakistan talks today, Siachen on agenda :IBN

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  7. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    Chill it , I am not seeing them reach any agreement regarding Siachen even in next decade.
     
  8. bobli

    bobli New Member

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  9. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    The talks between INDIA and pakistan on Siachen fail. The pakistanis wan't the INDIAN ARMY to withdraw our ARMY from Siachen.
     
  10. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    So Indian babudom comes to rescue once again, see the body language, from the beginning it seems they came for time pass

    [​IMG]
     
  11. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    The government will be committing political suicide if it even hints at giving up Siachen or Sir Creek let alone an inch of J&K. They should be very afraid of the consequences
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I don't think the talks on siachen will bring in any result. It's not going to be anything more than a tea party. India will not let go of the strategic gain it made in 87.

    I really don't understand why they even talk about Siachen? It's part if India just like the entire state of J&K including what Pak holds. So in 87, we just got back a little bit of our own land. Pakistan should thank it's stars we even had a Shimla Agreement where they got back all lost territory. Otherwise the story would have been quite different.
     
  13. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    If not for the Shimla agreement today entire pakistan would have been under INDIA once again and we would have been a whole INDIA as it was before independence. I would like to post this document about the SIMLA AGREEMENT

    SECRET OF SHIMLA AGREEMENT
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
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  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    No doubt this is all time pass.

    I also see, that Indians are looking delighted but the Pakistanis are looking rather demoralised, or is it just me?
     
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  15. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China fear makes India harden Siachen stand

    NEW DELHI: China was the unspoken but ominous presence in the South Block room when the two-day talks between India and Pakistan on the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region ended on Tuesday with no significant breakthrough in the long-standing dispute.

    China's expanding strategic footprint in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in fact, seems to have led India to harden its stand, which till now was largely about Pakistan providing iron-clad guarantees to "authenticate" the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) along the Saltoro Ridge, on maps and on ground.

    India remains open to discussing the "modalities" for the verification of the AGPL and the proposed demilitarized zone but would "insist on map coordinates, obtained through aerial or satellite imagery, and other methodologies to show the relative positions on the ground". Till it gets them, troop disengagement, withdrawal and the final demilitarization of the glacier is not on the cards.

    Some may scoff at the strategic significance of the forbidding glacial heights but the Indian Army, which beat the Pakistan Army by just a whisker to occupy most of the dominating posts in the region in April 1984, has repeatedly drilled it into the political leadership.

    For one, the Army is clear that if Pakistani troops occupy the heights vacated by it, then dislodging them from there would be virtually impossible. For another, if Indian soldiers had not been sitting atop heights ranging from 16,000 to 22,000 feet, Pakistan from the west would have long joined up with its "all-weather ally" China from the east through the Karakoram Pass to threaten Ladakh.

    The ever-growing presence of Chinese personnel, including military engineers, in PoK on the pretext of civilian infrastructure development in recent times has only served to accentuate these concerns.

    So, at the end of the 12th round of defence secretary-level talks on Siachen, despite the "good atmospherics" and "enhanced understanding of each other's position", there was no perceptible movement towards bridging the "trust deficit" between India and Pakistan.

    "Both sides agreed to continue discussions in a meaningful and result-oriented manner. They agreed to meet again at a mutually convenient date in Islamabad," said the joint statement, which also appreciated the fact that the ceasefire along AGPL was "holding since November 2003".

    But platitudes apart, and despite PM Manmohan Singh's desire to convert Siachen into "a mountain of peace", India seems to have adopted a go-slow attitude to ascertain how things pan out on other disputes with Pakistan.

    Indian soldiers, after all, occupy almost all the dominating Saltoro heights, sitting as they do 2,000 feet above the Pakistan positions. The Army has also stemmed its massive haemorrhage of earlier years in the world's highest, coldest and costliest battlefield with better infrastructure and logistics in place. Harsh weather-related casualties in the treacherous terrain, initially very high, are next to negligible now, say officers.

    "What is the hurry? The over Rs 3 crore it takes per day to sustain our troops in Siachen is not prohibitive. If Pakistan could violate the well-defined Line of Control during the 1999 Kargil conflict, what is the guarantee they will respect the AGPL? That is why we have been insisting on foolproof authentication of the AGPL," said an official. ​
     
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  16. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistanis are begging again, and Indians are laughing at them. :pound:

    Paki: "Allah ke liye pahad se niche utro plzz!!" :hail:
    Indians: "Aa gaye bhikmange saale phir se" :rotflmao:
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
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  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    LOL, now, after US, KSA and PRC, they are begging us. LOL.

    Needless to say, we are at the higher ground at Siachen. Won't let it go. Time pass is necessary to show that we are making some 'progress'.

    Some of their past misadventures:
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
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  18. Sikh_warrior

    Sikh_warrior Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    IF the babus give back or come to a settlement about Siachen and pak gets an upper hand....

    ...pak will simple hand it over to the chinese, and we will have chinese over looking us in Siachen!

    let get tough!


    i think india never used the advantage to get tough and get things done! (1971 war, we had 93000 pak soldiers and were in best position to negotiate J&K, and should have done an exchange of POK vs east pakistan)!

    but instead indira went for Shimla agreement!
     
  19. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Guys, right now he whole drama is running because pakistan is agreeing to agree on AGPL, but if suddenly they agree on markings, then we need to vacate the post right? Or we can still hold on to what we are holding. I mean, knowing pakistanis, they will agree on for the moment, and then they will hand over the area to Chinese.

    ANy way out of this situation?
     
  20. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    showing pakistaniyat in full view, they are directed by there masters for back door entry

    The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions

    Whenever Pakistan is in a situation where its stand defies logic in its dealings with India, it chooses to play the China card. This has been noticed during the latest round of talks on the Siachen glacier demilitarisation issue. Knowing well that any reference to China will be disapproved by India, the Pakistan Defence Ministry representatives who held talks on Monday and Tuesday with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi pushed for China to be represented during the negotiations because Beijing controls the Shaksham valley in the Siachen area. Besides this, Pakistan wants India to withdraw its troops from the vantage points held after great sacrifices without the areas’ proper demarcation. How can India vacate the areas it had captured in Operation Meghdoot without any guarantee that they would not be surreptitiously occupied by Pakistan? Islamabad’s stand is that India’s occupation of those areas has altered the status quo that existed when the Simla Agreement was signed. But the truth is that there is no mention of these Siachen points in that accord.

    India and Pakistan were faced with a similar situation during their talks on the Siachen issue before the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, which killed the composite dialogue process that was on between the two sides. Then also India insisted that the areas under its control must be demarcated before the withdrawal of its troops, but this was not acceptable to Pakistan. Islamabad’s refusal to accept the demarcation idea clearly shows that its intentions are not pious. The next round of talks, scheduled to be held in Islamabad, can be fruitful only if Pakistan substantially accommodates the Indian viewpoint.

    The standoff after the talks that concluded on Tuesday was already in the air because of the confidence deficit between the two sides. An atmosphere conducive to any agreement between India and Pakistan is missing today. It is difficult to say when the situation will improve. In fact, the tension between India and Pakistan is likely to go up owing to Pakistan’s unwillingness to punish all those guilty of the Mumbai terrorist killings despite India having provided enough proof to nail them.
     
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