Factfile on India-Pakistan Siachen dispute

May 30th, 2011 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Factfile on the India-Pakistan dispute over the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield.

* Siachen is a 70-km long glacier between the Saltoro Ridge line to the west and the main Karakoram range to the east in the northern-most tip of the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

* The Siachen Glacier’s icy heights range from 16,000 to 22,000 feet with temperatures dipping to minus 50 degree Celsius in winter.

* India launched Operation Meghdoot and took control of Siachen in April 1984 by pre-empting the Pakistan army’s Operation Ababeel aimed at occupying the glacier.

* India and Pakistan have cumulatively deployed nearly 10,000 troops along the 110-km-long Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) on the Siachen Glacier. India wants Pakistan to authenticate the AGPL before any talks on demilitarisation can begin.

* The dispute has reportedly cost both India and Pakistan over $10 billion in cumulative budgetary allocations and over 2,300 casualties, mostly due to the inhospitable weather.

* Talks on the dispute began in 1985 after discussions between then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Pakistani president Gen. Zia-ul-Haq.

* The 12th round of the talks on the dispute were held in New Delhi May 30-31, 2011.

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