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Pakistan Peace Coalition comments on the Siachen tragedy

8 April 2012

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8 April 2012

On behalf of Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC), we convey our deep condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who are feared to have lost their lives in this morning’s avalanche tragedy on the Siachen heights.

The crass political and military absurdity of maintaining thousands of troops by India and Pakistan at the forbidding height of 22,000 feet on the Siachen Glaciers in the harshest weather imaginable, has taken its tragic toll in the shape of 150 plus Pakistani soldiers being trapped under an avalanche that smashed into a Pakistan army base this morning. There have been reports claiming that the two governments have in recent months realized the futility of this senseless confrontation at the cost of millions of rupees a day and reached an understanding to demilitarize the glaciers. There have also been demands from various civil society organizations and peace-loving individuals in both countries calling upon the two governments to set an example by converting Siachen Glaciers into the first ever ’peace park’ at a height of 22,000 feet.

It is a sad commentary on the wisdom of our ruling establishments that such a huge tragedy has been allowed to take place despite the recurrence of regular deaths of soldiers due to harsh weather. The death of 24 Pakistani soldiers at Sallala on the Pak-Afghan border at the hands of NATO forces brought Pakistan and United States face to face with their gravest ever diplomatic crisis which still plagues our relations. Who are we going to blame for the death of so many of our soldiers in the avalanche tragedy on Siachen heights, except our short-sighted rulers?

PPC appeals to the President of Pakistan to use his tomorrow’s private visit to Ajmer Sharif in India not only to pray for the souls of the soldiers who may have lost their lives in this tragedy, but also to persuade the Prime Minister of India to join him in declaring Siachen a fully demilitarized Pakistan-India Joint ’Peace Park’, so that never again shall our soldiers have to die for no reason or rhyme.

B.M.Kutty, Secretary General PPC

Karamat Ali, Member Central Committee PPC

Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC)
- c/o PILER Center, Karachi.