Speaking to the media today, Interior Minister Rehman Malik expressed outrage at Opposition Leader Nawaz Sharif for his comments saying that Pakistan should “take the initiative” and withdraw from the Siachen glacier.
Malik said that his government is open to negotiations on the military deployments in Siachen but that there could be no unilateral withdrawal and that the glacier is “sacred” to the government.
The military deployment to the glacier has become increasingly controversial since early this month, when 138 soldiers on routine patrol were smothered to death in one of the many random avalanches that happen in the area.
Since then, analysts have been urging both India and Pakistan to withdraw their militaries from their respective sides of the glacier, noting that it is a useless frozen wasteland that doesn’t need “defending.”
Indeed, even though both sides are forever launching patrols for incursions, some experts doubt that they could even theoretically get into a battle there, since any number of troops attempting to cross the area would likely end up buried long before they reached the other side.
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