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India should not act in a hurry on Siachen: BJP
By Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 29, 2005 22:15 IST
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, vice president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, has said the government of India should not act in a great hurry to withdraw troops from the Siachen glacier without taking the country into confidence and by ignoring ground realities.
"We have agreed. They have agreed to withdraw troops from the present positions. There is no differing opinions about it, both sides have agreed," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a television interview to a private television network.
The 75-km-long glacier situated at the height of 6,300 mt above sea level is controlled by the Indian army. The glacier's temperature dips to -70° in winter. Pakistan first occupied it, but then Indian forces led by Subhedar Major Bana Singh of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry took over the crucial post from the Pakistani soliders for which he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
"Though we want the present peace talks between India and Pakistan to progress further, confidence building measures like troop withdrawal from Siachen is a matter of national interest and hence, all decisions regarding this should be taken with great care, particularly when terrorism in the Valley is increasing day by day," Naqvi said.
Some people in the Congress party have reservations about Mukherjee's announcement, but chose not to give vent to their feelings by talking to media openly about it. "We should not follow the Americans blindly," said one such leader.