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Need for effective dialogue over Siachen Issue
  By V. K. Nakhasi

Recent Siachen Talks seem to be in the direction of Indo-Pak peace process. Both the Nations previously remained awfully engaged at their respective levels to hold talks on Siachen issue. Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma of India and her counterpart Nargis Sethi of Pakistan also made concerted efforts to carryout perfect homework before holding talks. Despite their hectic homework they could not make any headway to show any forward movement in finding out the resolution for solving Siachen issue. Although the talks were held in very pleasant and cordial environ yet both the dignitaries could not reach to any concrete solution. During talks they only remained committed to hold seriously sustained talks to find out the amicable settlement of the issue. Siachen is considered to be the highest battlefield across the globe. But, no one should assess that the talks between India & Pakistan over Siachen issue at Senior Bureaucratic level were simply eyewash. This is a fact that both the nations did not succeed in breaking the ice as per the desire of their respective leaders. When the breaking of ice could not materialize how we could expect the Bureaucrats to reach to any logical conclusion which could have been acceptable to both. The representatives of both the Nations during talks were of the view to continue the dialogue on the long pending issue. However, the desire of the leaders of both the countries to find an amicable solution of all the outstanding issues could not be fulfilled. During talk’s emphasis were laid over simultaneous withdrawal of troops from Siachen by both the countries. But the pullout of troops could be possible only after some tangible solution comes to surface.

The question is why the talks ended in inconclusive without emerging any substantial progress. The answer could be either the proper handwork was not carried out at Bureaucratic level before holding talks or the attempt to leave it inconclusive was intentional one in view of certain compulsions from both sides. But, as far as the intentions to solve the problem is concerned, both the nations need to give it a very serious and meaningful thought as the deployment of troops at the glacier costs too heavy for the defence Ministries of India and Pakistan. The loss does not occur on the fiscal front only but also the perishing of human lives due to extreme cold at the glacier is also involved to a greater extent. In view of these reasons both the nations need to sit together to come to a negotiating table to find solution of the issue as early as possible otherwise both the nation would continue to suffer on account of the problem of adverse weather.

The ceasefire from both sides has been in force since 2003, but that does not mean that the stand off prevailing at present would not meet its end. Honest and earnest efforts are needed to be made to put an end to the stand off which could enable the people of both the countries to heave a sigh of relief. Moreover, it has further been decided that next round of talks would be held in Delhi for which the dates could be slated though diplomatic channels. Most of the time during talks was devoted to working-out the joint statement, ultimately the joint statement issued by both the Secretaries revealed that the talks were held in a very cordial and happy mood. Now, both the nations have to wait to hear the decisions only after the talks which are to be held in near future both at the Bureaucratic as well as Ministerial level. It cannot be denied that the repeated dialogue can only lead to some workable solution of such monstrous issue. The only advisory is to exhibit highest degree of patience on both sides and hope for some amicable solution which should be acceptable to the leaders of both the countries. This would also be a fruitful step towards Confidence Building Measures-CBMs for both the countries.





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