India must take `bold initiative` on Siachen: Khar

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that Islamabad had been willing to resolve the Siachen dispute way back in 1989.

Lahore: India should take "a bold initiative" to resolve the dispute over Siachen, the world`s highest battleground, said Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Khar said Pakistan believed that all outstanding issues with India could be resolved through dialogue, reported Dawn on Tuesday.

Responding to queries by Indian businessmen on a two-day visit, Khar said in Lahore that Islamabad had been willing to resolve the Siachen dispute way back in 1989.

"Today Pakistan still sticks to its stance and we want India to also take a bold initiative in this regard," she was quoted as saying.

India and Pakistan "have lost opportunities over 23 years to resolve the standoff on the Himalayan glacier. The recent tragedy in Siachen is a stark and painful reminder of the explicit human cost of status quo", she added.

Pakistan lost nearly 140 soldiers when a massive avalanche entombed the Gayari Army base last month.

The incident prompted Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to say that Islamabad was open for talks with India to demilitarise Siachen.

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal said New Delhi was also interested in resolving the Siachen dispute.

"We had Kargil (conflict in 1999) that made things difficult. However, both sides have recognised this and it will be discussed in the upcoming talks."

Khar stressed there could be no military solution to the problems between the two countries and that India and Pakistan "should learn lessons from the past and look forward”.

"Pakistanis believe that war is not an option between the two nuclear powers. The only option is to resolve our differences and disputes on the negotiating table," she added.