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India, Pak for early resolution of Siachen issue: Antony

August 27, 2012 16:40 IST
India and Pakistan have agreed to continue the dialogue in Siachen for early resolution of outstanding issues there, and have reaffirmed the resolve to make serious, sustained and result oriented efforts to seek an amicable solution, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony also said that since 1984, a total of 846 soldiers have lost their lives in the Siachen glacier.

"During the 13th round of Siachen talks between the defence secretaries of India and Pakistan held in Pakistan on 11-12th June 2012, both delegations reaffirmed their resolve to make serious, sustained and result oriented efforts for seeking an amicable resolution of Siachen," he said.

It was agreed to continue the dialogue on Siachen in keeping with the desire of the leaders of both the countries for early resolution of all outstanding issues, Antony added.

On resolution of Sir Creek issue with Pakistan, he said the meeting between the Surveyor Generals of the two countries was held in New Delhi on June 18-19.

"The two sides discussed the land boundary in the Sir Creek area and also delimitation of International Maritime Boundary between India and Pakistan. They reiterated their desire to find an amicable solution of the Sir Creek issue through sustained and result oriented dialogue," he said.

Denying reports of withdrawal of troops from the Siachen glacier, Antony said, "There has been no decision to withdraw troops from the Siachen glacier. Any deployment/redeployment of troops in the area is contingent upon the threat perception, ground situation and other operational aspects."
On the benefits provided to soldiers deployed in Siachen, Anthony said that several measures have been initiated by the government to improve the conditions for troops there.

"The composite package of welfare for soldiers deployed in Siachen, comprises Siachen allowance, provision of separated family accommodation anywhere in India, free warrant to travel hometown twice in a year, special ration and food developed by the DRDO and evacuation by helicopter during medical emergencies," he said.

On the number of casualties there, he said, "A total of 846 armed forces personnel have made supreme sacrifices on the Siachen glaciers since 1984. The death during the course of duties on Siachen glaciers is treated as battle casualties."

Replying to a separate question on deployment of troops in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, "The deployment of security forces as part of the security grid in the Northern sector including Jammu and Kashmir is based on the threat perception and is periodically reviewed."

Decisions relating to the deployment of forces in the counter infiltration/counter terrorist operations are based on a comprehensive assessment to ensure that there is no adverse effect on the overall security situation, Antony added.

He also told the House that till June this year, only 38 terrorists succeeded in infiltrating out of the 103 odd who attempted it.

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