Islamabad, June 3: Both India and Pakistan gain nothing out of Siachen, the world’s highest battleground where armies of the two neighbours stand eyeball-to-eyeball, and the matter is only about “satisfaction of egos”, a Pakistani minister has said.
The militaries of both India and Pakistan are an obstacle to the resolution of the Siachen dispute, said Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar, minister for power and water.
Mukhtar, who was earlier minister for defence, said that both Pakistan and India want to settle the dispute and its resolution would benefit both the countries.
India, being the bigger country, should be “large-hearted” in initiating a settlement, the minister was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
A total of 140 people — 129 soldiers and 11 civilians — were buried in an avalanche that struck a Pakistan Army camp April 7 in Gayari area of Siachen. All those killed were declared “martyrs” by the army.
Pakistan and India will hold discussions on the Siachen row June 11 and 12, after Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani sought talks with New Delhi to demilitarise the battleground.
The avalanche incident prompted Kayani to say that Islamabad was open for talks with New Delhi.
“Peaceful coexistence between the two neighbours is very important so that everybody can concentrate on the well-being of the people,” Kayani said in April after a visit to oversee the rescue efforts.
“Both countries should sit together to resolve all the issues including Siachen,” he said.
Later, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said India should take “a bold initiative” to resolve the dispute over Siachen.