In the wake of the death of 10 soldiers in an avalanche on the Siachen glacier, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday termed their death as ‘painful’ and said that withdrawing troops from the glacier could not be a solution.
Talking on the sidelines of an International Maritime Conference, he said the recent incident of death of 10 soldiers has nothing to do with preparedness as an avalanche is unpredictable in nature. The minister, however, emphasised that the loss of lives on Siachen has come down significantly in the recent years due to the improved facilities.
When questioned if the proposal to convert Siachen into a “peace mountain” still exists, the minister replied by saying that the decision to deploy troops on Siachen is based on the security of the country. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 had proposed to convert the world’s highest battlefield into a “peace mountain” without redrawing the boundaries between India and Pakistan.
Further, Parrikar said that the search operation for the soldiers is still on but the hope of any survival is nil. The army has deployed advanced equipments like wall penetrating radars to search for its missing soldiers.
India and Pakistan has always maintained military presence at heights of 20,000 feet and both the sides have lost men due to extreme weather conditions.
Image Source: The Econmic Times