Army opposes Pakistan's demand for troop withdrawal from Siachen Glacier

SiachenPakistan has been pushing for demilitarisation of Siachen but India has maintained that this cannot take place without proper authentication by both sides of the present troop positions on the Glacier. (Reuters)

The Army on Thursday rubbished Pakistan's demand for withdrawal of troops from the Siachen Glacier saying it would not move out from the strategically important icy heights.

The force has put across its stand on the issue after Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz asked India to withdraw troops from there claiming that they posed a "serious threat" to Pakistan's environment.

The Army would not like to move out from the Glacier as it is of strategic importance to us and in the last several years, we have taken several steps towards maintaining the environmental equilibrium there, Army officials said.

Last year, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh had made it clear that the Indian military has shed a lot of blood for occupying the Glacier and it would not like to move out of there.

He had stated that the "area is very important and India must continue to hold that area and we have held that view always... We have lost our lives and lot of blood has been shed to get into these areas and occupy the heights and positions".

Pakistan has been pushing for demilitarisation of Siachen but India has maintained that this cannot take place without proper authentication by both sides of the present troop positions on the Glacier.

The Army has not changed its views on the importance of the strategic heights which have been under Indian physical control since 1984 after the Army launched to Operation Meghdoot to occupy them.

In the recent times, the Army has worked towards using new and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy to meet its energy requirements in the glacier areas and DRDO has also taken up work in this direction.

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