The Indian Army is considering a proposal to open Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield, in Ladakh for tourists, sources said on Tuesday.
Mountaineering expeditions used to be allowed to Siachen until 1984 before the ice-clad high altitude region was militarised following machinations by Pakistan.
The sources said the proposal is being thought-about with all earnestness since it has return directly from Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, however no concrete road map has yet been laid out in this direction.
“The remark was made by the army chief during a private meeting recently. The chief said that he is thinking over a proposal to open the Siachen glacier to individuals,” a senior Army official told IANS.
The Siachen glacier, that once used to be a demilitarised zone, came under the strategic control of India in 1984 following ”Operation Meghdoot”.
The operation was launched by the Indian Army when Pakistan allowed a team of Japanese to undertake an expedition to a strategic peak in the Siachen glacier.
The peak directly overlooked the Aksai Chin, an area that is under dispute between India and China.
Both India and Pakistan used to send tourist expeditions to the glacier in the 70s and the 80s as the boundaries between India and Pakistan in the Siachen region were not properly outlined in the Karachi Agreement of 1949.
The thought of opening the glacier for tourists has come at a time when Ladakh, where Siachen is located, is being carved into a Union Territory.
The Union government is working on a variety of alternative proposals to develop the Ladakh region after it had been carved out as a separate entity from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Source : IANS
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