Pak army is making strenuous efforts to find out 124 soldiers and some civilians who are under the avalanche on Siachen. On April 8, Chief of Army Staff General Kayani went to Sakardu to check the arrangements made to remove the heavy snow. US and some western countries have also offered their help in this regard. Pakistan Government did not accept Indian assistance, but welcomed the statement of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also met President Zardari on Sunday in New Delhi.
On 7 April, army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that between 3 am-4 am an Avalanche hit 135 individuals including 124 soldiers and 11 civilians at Gayari sector near Siachen Glacier. Lt Col Tanvir Ul Hassan,Maj Zaka Ul Haq and Capt Haleem Ullah (AMC) are part of the missing soldiers. He elaborated that the incident occurred at about an altitude of 16,000 feet and 180 miles northeast of Skardu, the capital of Baltistan. The rescue operation is underway. He further pointed out that troops with sniffer dogs, aided by helicopters, are recklessly trying to find signs of life in the deep snow as the avalanche engulfed the army camp in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Army Chief, PML(N) leader Nawaz Sharif and leaders of other political parties including all segments of society have expressed their deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident of snow slide near Siachen. However, there are fears that all the army soldiers might have died as they are under the heavy slides.
After fighting three wars with Pakistan, India had opened a new sector in 1982 by deploying its army troops on the Siachen Glacier and Pakistan was compelled to follow the suit. Siachen is the highest war zone of the world with frozen mountains, having temperature between 40 to 80 centigrade and where skirmishes continue between Pak forces and Indian troops intermittently. Islamabad has repeatedly asked New Delhi to resolve this issue. In this connection, Siachen dispute was discussed by the diplomats of both the countries, but India used delaying tactics as it does not want withdraw its forces. Apart from other disputes, even President Zardari discussed this issue with Prime Minister Singh on April 8. However, so far, negotiations between both the nuclear countries produced no results due to Indian intransigence.
Nevertheless, Pakistanis salute their soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their safety and security of the country while performing sacred duties of defending their motherland.