The Siachen issue is one such issue that has dogged India and Pakistan apart from the Kashmir issue. For long there have been talks to demilitarize Siachen, the highest battleground in the world. But, every time no solution comes out as both the countries put several conditions on each other.
This time again, talks between India and Pakistan on Siachen have failed to make any tangible progress, with both sides unwilling to move from the question of authentication of troop positions on the glacier.
Indian PM Manmohan Singh had proposed that the icy heights of Siachen be demilitarized and converted from a battleground into a mountain of peace. But, India wants to take the Siachen issue in a sequential order meaning that; first it wants Pakistan to confirm the actual number of soldiers present on their side. Secondly, India says Pakistan would have to authenticate the actual ground position line (AGPL) before any discussion on proposals for demilitarization of the glacier.
On the other side, Pakistan has as always ruled out authentication of troop positions in Siachen, rejecting India’s condition for resolution of the issue. Because, it fears that verification of the actual number of its troops will strengthen India’s claims on Siachen and turn the AGPL into the Line of Control. Pakistan says it has gave a detailed plan to India containing some workable proposals to help resolve the Siachen issue.
Pakistan’s reluctance to authenticate has prevented any forward movement in talks over the issue. It is important that both the countries learnt to resolve problems instead of living with them that have the risk of aggravating the situation.