Siachen the forgotten war
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Siachen: The forgotten war. Adnan Ahmed Abbasi VIII-B. Introduction.

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Siachen: The forgotten war

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Siachen: The forgotten war

Adnan Ahmed Abbasi



The Siachen Conflict, sometimes referred to as the Siachen War, is a military conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir. It started with a crossfire between Indian and Pakistani soldiers on 13th of April 1984.


  • Imagine, for 37 long years beginning in 1947 neither India nor Pakistan thought that the 70 km long Siachen Glacier had any strategic significance. Even the Simla Agreement of 1972 did not give much importance to the inhospitable and the inhabitable barren mass of ice. And then out of the blue on April 13, 1984 the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army along with the Indian Air Force launched Operation Meghdoot in order to capture the Saltoro Ridge high ground. Operation Meghdoot reportedly drained a colossal $3.5 billion from the Indian defence budget.

  • Present estimates of a 100-hour hot war with India range from $3 billion to $5 billion. The Siachen War, however, a form of cold war costs Pakistan between $200 million to $300 million a year-the equivalent of Rs50 million per day every day of the year. In the highest battlefield on the face of the planet most soldiers die not from enemy fire but from frostbites and avalanches.

The crossfire


  • In Siachen, Pakistan and India each maintains 150 manned posts with 10 battalions each for a total of some 6,000 troops. Pakistan has deployed up to half a dozen helicopters to transport food supplies as well as ammunition. The cost of being airborne per helicopter per hour is Rs55,000. Snow taxis cost around Rs400,000 each. Each roti by the time it reaches our troops costs Rs100. The high altitude clothing easily costs Rs100,000 per head.With no strategic, mineral or tactical value this must be the world’s most senseless, stupidest war. Pakistan has time and again offered to settle the conflict on the condition that both armies withdraw to pre-1984 positions. The Indians are adamant on keeping the captured high grounds. Who will end this silliest of all silly conflicts? The quickest way, I read somewhere, of ending a war is to lose it.

The war

An aerial view of an Indian Army camp at Siachen Glacier, about 470 miles northwest of Jammu, India. Siachen is a 26-mile-long icy wasteland at a height of more than 20,000 feet, where temperatures are usually far below zero, with winds averaging a speed of 60 mph.

The war

  • Army soldiers return after a training session at the Siachen base camp in Indian Kashmir on the border with Pakistan. The nuclear-armed South Asian nations have competing territorial claims to Siachen, often called the world's highest battlefield, and troops have been locked in a standoff there at an altitude of more than 20,000 feet since 1984, when Indian forces occupied the glacier.

The war

Indian soldiers fire artillery shells on Pakistani posts in the Siachen Glacier sector, about 400 miles north of the Kashmiri city of Srinagar, a few weeks after the two countries conducted nuclear tests in 1998. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir, which is divided between the two countries

The war

An Indian soldier trains on a high rope at the Siachen base camp, in Indian Kashmir on the border with Pakistan.

The war

Indian soldiers climb an ice wall at the Siachen base camp. 

The army chief visit

Indian army chief visit




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