24 Apr 2012

[Headline: 'Troops withdrawal from Siachen if India agrees']

Ref: Pak President Zardari's comment of both India & Pakistan pulling out of Siachen jointly as an option (made in reference to Pakistani soldiers killed in an avalanche in the region).

Considering the hostile terrain and the extreme conditions under which soldiers have to defend the borders (for example the loss of lives in the avalanche and also the long terms effects of such conditions on the physical and mental health of soldiers), it may be worthwhile to consider if withdrawal from the defensive positions is a viable option.

Even though this is not a formal proposal, we can try and understand the purity of Pak intentions and what would happen if India agreed to this idea, at this specific point in time.

The Cards indicate that a withdrawal by India will not improve the friendship with Pakistan but instead will become another big headache for the government, and soon lead to armed conflict. In such a scenario, India will eventually be victorious but only at the cost of high initial losses.

So the best option for India is to maintain status quo at Siachen, while trying to improve relations with its neighbour is other ways.

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