President Ram Nath Kovind visits Army base camp in Siachen - world's highest battlefield

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday visited the Siachen base camp in Jammu and Kashmir and interacted with soldiers posted there.

President Ram Nath Kovind visits Army base camp in Siachen - world's highest battlefield
Image Credit: ANI

NEW DELHI: Nearly a decade after APJ Abdul Kalam became the first President to visit the Siachen Glacier, President Ram Nath Kovind visited the Army base camp in the area on Thursday. Siachen is considered to be the highest battlefield in the world.

News agency ANI posted a picture of President Ram Nath Kovind soon after he arrived in Siachen and tweeted, ''President Ram Nath Kovind visits Siachen base camp. He is the second President to visit the camp, after former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who visited in 2004.'' 

''President Ram Nath Kovind will visit the Siachen base camp in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday and interact with soldiers posted there,'' a statement from the President's office had said on Wednesday.

"He will be the first president to visit this camp since the visit of the then president APJ Abdul Kalam in 2004,'' the statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan had said.

He will also visit the Kumar Post, it added.

Kalam, known as the 'Missile Man of India', had made history by becoming the first Indian President to visit the heavily militarised Siachen Glacier in the first week of April 2004. 

From the Thoise airbase, the former President took a helicopter to reach the base camp situated at over 18,000 feet.

Siachen has been peaceful ever since India and Pakistan entered into a ceasefire in November 2003 but remains a treacherous terrain, and casualties are not rare here even in times of peace.

According to a statement made by the Government in Parliament in December 2015, 869 soldiers have lost their lives in the glacier because of climatic conditions.

Siachen has been militarised since 1984 when both countries raced to occupy commanding heights.

(With PTI inputs) 

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