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Apr 06,2007
India, Pakistan start talks on Siachen
by UPI

RAWALPINDI - An Indian team in Pakistan began talks Friday in Rawalpindi to demilitarize the Siachen glacier, the world's highest battlefield in the frozen Himalayas.

The two sides are led by their defense secretaries.

Shekhar Dutt, leading the nine-member Indian delegation, told the Press Trust of India both sides are hopeful of resolution of the complex, years-old problem of Siachen, which lies at Himalayan heights of 20,700 feet and is under control of India.

The need to demilitarize the region is accepted by both sides because of the horrendous logistical and huge financial costs of supplying troops who must live in sub-zero temperatures.

"I am sure we are heading for a resolution," Dutt said prior to his talks with the Paksitan side led by his counterpart Kamran Rasool.

One hopeful sign this time around is that Pakistan reportedly is willing to authenticate its troop positions on the glacier on condition India will not use the information to legalize its control, PTI reported.

Siachen came into dispute because it was not demarcated after the 1947 partition of the subcontinent. The dispute began in 1984 when Pakistan began issuing permits to mountain climbers for the region, and India stepped in to exert its authority.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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