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India offers truce in Siachen

Josy Joseph in New Delhi | November 24, 2003 16:01 IST
Last Updated: November 24, 2003 20:34 IST

India on Tuesday responded to Pakistan's peace initiative by offering truce in Siachen.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali had asked the Pakistan army to observe ceasefire along the Line of Control from Eid, which is likely this week.

India also proposed "immediate technical level talks for early implementation" of its offer to increase communication links between the two countries.

"India will respond positively to this initiative," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Navtej Sarna said. "In order to establish a full ceasefire on a durable basis, there must be an end to infiltration from across the Line of Control."

The Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistani troops push terrorists into India, New Delhi claims. Most of the time terrorists get covering fire from Pakistan.

"If India were to accept the ceasefire it would have only facilitated more terrorists to come in as it happened during the Ramzan offer of 2000," an army officer told rediff.com

In 2000, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had offered a ceasefire to mark Ramzan, and the guns fell silent along the LoC. However, post-ceasefire analysis by various agencies had told the government that terrorists freely infiltrated into India during that period.

With Monday's offer of ceasefire in the 110-kilometre Actual Group Position Line in Siachen, India took the cat-and-mouse game in South Asia to another level.

In the 110 kilometers from NJ 9842 to the northern end of the Siachen glacier the average height is over 17,000 feet and is almost permanently snow-covered. There is no terrorist infiltration, nor is it of any strategic value.

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