Pakistan, India working out details for Siachen talks
PAKISTAN said on Thursday it was finalising details for the next round of talks with India over the disputed Siachen Glacier, a day after its powerful army chief called for the area to be demilitarised.
Troops from India and Pakistan have faced off on the Siachen, high in the mountains of disputed Kashmir, since the 1980s but calls for the standoff to end have grown in the wake of an avalanche on April 7 which buried a Pakistani army camp.
General Ashfaq Kayani , one of the most powerful men in Pakistan, on Wednesday called for a negotiated end to the confrontation and said the glacier should be demilitarised.
There have been several rounds of negotiations between Delhi and Islamabad on Siachen in recent years and Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan said on Thursday that the plans for the next talks were in hand.
“It is being discussed at defence secretary level. The next meeting will be held in Pakistan and they are finalising the dates,” he told reporters. “We have made several proposals under the Siachen dialogue process, including the redeployment of forces.” Kayani, speaking after visiting the Gayari camp where the army says 129 soldiers and 11 civilians were buried by the avalanche, stressed the importance of “peaceful coexistence” between India and Pakistan.
“This conflict should be resolved, but how it is resolved, the two countries have to talk about it,” he said.