Troop Withdrawal From Siachen A Larger Issue: Parrikar


New Delhi: Thirteen rounds of talks have been held between India and Pakistan on the issue of withdrawing troops from Siachen and New Delhi has made it clear that it is part of the larger issue of Islamabad supporting terrorism in India, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“Thirteen rounds of talks to resolve the Siachen issue have already taken place between the government of the two countries, led by the respective defence secretaries.

“Indian Government has made it clear to Pakistan that the solution to Siachen Glacier is a part of the larger issue to include Pakistan`s support to terrorism in India,” Parrikar said in written reply.

The minister said that on December 9, 2015, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia process for regional cooperation on Afghanistan.

“These discussions directed the foreign secretaries of both countries to work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings under the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue on various issues including Siachen,” Parrikar said.

The minister said soldiers are deployed in extremely harsh terrain and weather conditions but are fully equipped and properly trained to undertake the operational challenges and carry out their mandated tasks.

“The soldiers deployed at Siachen Glacier are provided with quality winter clothing including `Extreme Cold Climate` clothing. Besides, they are provided with prefabricated insulated shelters and wherever it is not possible to construct such shelters due to technical difficulties, insulated tents are provided which can withstand low temperatures,” said the minister.

He said the units are self-sufficient for a period of 240 days of supplies.