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Indian Army Chief rules out withdrawal of soldiers from Siachen

The world's highest battlefield awaits demilitarisation

Indian Army Chief has ruled out demilitarization  in Siachen,  world’s highest battleground

New Delhi, Nov 24/NationalTurk- Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh Saturday  ruled out withdrawal of Indian soldiers from Siachen, world’s highest battleground citing strategic importance of the place for the country.

“India now has the advantage in Siachen and this should be maintained,” General Singh told media persons on sidelines of a passing out parade of the cadets at Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala , Kannur.

However, he was quick to add that it is for Indian Government of India to take a final decision.

Earlier, on November 12 this year, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony had also ruled out withdrawal of Indian soldiers from the Siache.  “Our stand on the issue is very clear. There is no change in it and we are not for its (Siachen’s) demilitarization,” he had said.

Indian army has been opposing withdrawal of its troops from the region.

India, Pak soldiers in face-off since 1984

Indian and Pakistani troops are in face-off position in Siachen, where temperature falls to – 35-60 degree Celsius in winters, since 1984.

According to media reports, about 10,000 and 20,000 Indian and Pakistani troops are stationed in the mountains above the Siachen glacier. Hundreds of soldiers from both sides have lost their lives in Siachen. Most have died because of inhospitable climate and snow avalanches  and not because of enemy fire or shelling.

The demands for demilitarisisation of Siachen were made early this year after  an avalanche killed 139 Pakistani soldiers.

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