Pak Defence Secretary arrives for two-day talks on Siachen

Pakistan`s Defence Secretary Lt General (Retd) Syed Ather Ali arrived here on Saturday for the 12th round of Defence Secretary-level talks on the long- pending Siachen issue, which is being resumed after a gap of three years on Monday.

Last Updated: May 28, 2011, 23:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Pakistan`s Defence Secretary
Lt General (Retd) Syed Ather Ali arrived here on Saturday for the
12th round of Defence Secretary-level talks on the long-
pending Siachen issue, which is being resumed after a gap of
three years on Monday.

"Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar will lead the Indian
delegation during the two-day talks. India and Pakistan
decided to resume the talks last year after both Prime
Ministers met in Thimpu," Defence Ministry officials said.

While Pakistani delegation has two civilian officials
and four military officers, the Indian side includes Special
Secretary RK Mathur, Director General of Military Operations
(DGMO) Lt General AM Verma and Surveyor General S Subha Rao,
the officials said.

Siachen, the world`s highest militarised zone, has
been a long pending issue between India and Pakistan over
differences on the location of the 110-km long Actual Ground
Position Line (AGPL) which passes through the Soltoro Ridge
and Siachen glacier.

"The AGPL is not clearly marked beyond the grid
reference point of NJ-9842. The two countries have decided to
de-militarise the Siachen glacier, but the matter is stuck as
there are apprehensions on both sides," officials said.

India wants Pakistan to authenticate the AGPL, both on
the maps and the ground, as it occupies most of the dominating
posts on the Saltoro Ridge, officials said.

Pakistan, in turn, has been insisting on maintaining
the pre-1972 troop positions as agreed in the Simla Agreement.

Retaliating to Pakistan Army`s advances in the glacier
in 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot and deployed its
troops in most of the dominating features in the area.

The defence secretary-level talks between the two
countries on Siachen dates back to 1985. The decision to hold
joint talks was taken by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
and Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Haq.

PTI