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India, Pakistan hold talks over Siachen glacier withdrawal

Other News Materials 30 May 2011 13:56
Top Indian and Pakistani defence officials on Monday began their first talks in four years, discussing a disputed Himalayan glacier considered to be the highest battleground in the world.
India, Pakistan hold talks over Siachen glacier withdrawal

Top Indian and Pakistani defence officials on Monday began their first talks in four years, discussing a disputed Himalayan glacier considered to be the highest battleground in the world, DPA reported.

The two sides are seeking a "mutually acceptable" withdrawal of their troops from the Siachen glacier, located 6,400 metres above sea level.

They have been deadlocked over the authentication of positions held by Indian and Pakistani troops and the methods for demilitarizing the glacier.

The two-day talks between the defence secretaries in New Delhi are part of an effort to resolve outstanding issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, an Indian defence official said.

The South Asian rivals have held as many as 11 rounds of talks about Siachen since 1985 without any success.

Both India and Pakistan claim the glacier, located north of the line of control that divides the parts of Kashmir administered by the two countries.

India and Pakistan have stationed troops on the 76-kilometre-long glacier at considerable cost to their economies and human life due to the inhospitable conditions.

Ahead of Monday's talks, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony claimed that about "42 terrorist camps were still functioning in Pakistan."

"Without destroying these terrorist camps, it would be difficult to have permanent cooperation in India-Pakistan relations," he said.

The meeting of defence officials is part of peace talks that resumed this year after a suspension in the wake of the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, which killed 166 people.

India blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group for the attack.

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