Pakistan, India fail to make progress on troop pullback

At the end of the two days of negotiations over northern end of Kashmir, the two sides agree to continue talks in the future.

pakistan india 88 (photo credit: )
pakistan india 88
(photo credit: )
Pakistan and India failed to make any progress at talks on withdrawing troops from the Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battlefield, a Pakistani government official said. But the two sides agreed at the end of the two days of negotiations near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, to continue talks in the future, the defense ministry official said Saturday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue. "India showed no flexibility at the talks, especially today. They insisted that Pakistan should accept their current troop positions" before talking about a troop pullback, the official said. The official provided no further details. Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement that the talks were held in a "candid and constructive atmosphere" and the two sides agreed to continue the discussions to resolve the Siachen dispute in a peaceful manner. Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations, and a breakthrough in their talks on the glacier issue could give a boost to the broader peace process between the South Asian nuclear-armed rivals which they began in 2004 to resolve a range of disputes, including claims to Kashmir. Including the latest negotiations, the two sides have held 11 rounds of talks since 1984, when Indian troops moved onto the otherwise uninhabited 78-kilometer -long glacier, fearing Islamabad wanted to claim it. Pakistan also rushed its troops to Siachen, which lies at the northern end of the disputed territory of Kashmir. Since then, scores of soldiers have died, more from freezing conditions than from hostile fire. A cease-fire has held at the glacier since 2003, when Pakistan said it would agree to negotiations to resolve disputes with India. The Himalayan region of Kashmir was the cause of two of the three wars between Pakistan and India since they gained independence from Britain in 1947. When the Line of Control that divides Kashmir was set by the two countries after a 1971 war, it only reached a point on the map called NJ 9842 and did not extend to Siachen because the glacier was considered uninhabitable.