India cannot open disputed Siachen for tourism: Pakistan


NOVEMBER 22, 2019

Pakistan on Thursday said the Siachen Glacier was a disputed territory that India could not open for tourism.  

“India has made attempts to occupy the territory of Siachen. The disputed land cannot be opened for tourists,” Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said in Islamabad during a weekly press briefing.

Faisal said India had not formally conveyed its decision on Siachen to Pakistan.

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on October 21 announced that the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield, was now open to tourists as part of the efforts to boost tourism in Ladakh and give people a first-hand experience of the tough conditions in which Indian Army personnel operate.

However, New Delhi’s decision has been condemned by Pakistan.

Pakistan-based analyst Reema Shaukat said, “India has opened up this glacier for tourism purposes without realizing how dangerous and risky this zone is. Since the announcement of opening of Siachen as tourism spot, many concerns regarding environmental hazards are surfacing.”

In 2007, when India made a similar announcement, Pakistan had protested the move.

India’s then deputy high commissioner was summoned to the foreign office and a protest was lodged with him.

India and Pakistan are currently engaged in talks to resolve the 20-year-old-conflict over the 72-km-long frozen battlefield.

The two countries agreed to a ceasefire in November, 2003, but did not withdraw their troops from their respective positions on the Himalayan glacier.

Courtesy/Source: Hindustan Times