Let DGMOs meet: India on Pak raising Siachen issue

Let DGMOs meetNEW DELHI: India today appeared dismissive of Pakistan’s demand that it should withdraw its troops from Siachen as it was damaging the environment and polluting water resources.

Asked about remarks of Sartaj Aziz, adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on national security and foreign affairs, that Indian troops’ presence on the glacier was causing pollution, the External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson did not give a direct answer but stressed the need for a meeting between the two Directors General Military Operations (DGMOs), as decided by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York.

He said, “Both India and Pakistan have a dialogue process and Siachen is part of that process. The dialogue was interrupted because there were some incidents which were not conducive to continuing the dialogue that was underway.

“What was then decided, by the two Prime Ministers, was that as a first step to normalization of that relationship, there needs to be a meeting of two DGMOs to work out among themselves (ways) to ensure peace and tranquility on the border. Following which others will step in.

“At this stage the question of others stepping in and pursuing issues have not come about as first step in that has not been taken….. Based on the outcome of the first step, other steps would be opened so at this stage, space for other issues are constrained by lack of movement on what the Prime Ministers agreed,” the Spokesperson said.

Claiming that Indian forces on Siachen posed a “serious threat” to Pakistan’s environment, Aziz had, earlier this week, asked India to withdraw its troops saying, his country was facing a water shortage and the troops were damaging the “virgin snow” of Siachen – one of the largest sources of Pakistani water.–PTI

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