Pak for mutual pull-out of troops from Siachen

Associated Press

Islamabad, June 13:

Pakistan today urged India to agree to a mutual troop withdrawal from the disputed Siachen Glacier, a day after India’s PM said he wanted to turn the world’s highest battlefield into a “mountain of peace.” “We hope that the statement reflects a change of position. Pakistan has always maintained that the Siachen issue should be resolved peacefully between India and Pakistan,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani. Yesterday, PM Manmohan Singh visited troops on the glacier and said it was time to make peace. “Siachen is called the highest battlefield, where living is very difficult,” PTI quoted Singh as saying. “Now time has come that we make efforts that this battlefield is converted into a mountain of peace.” President Pervez Musharraf said in Malaysia today that he was sure Pakistan and India would “reach a conclusion” in their talks to end the “eyeball to eyeball confrontation” in Siachen. Jilani said that India had committed “aggression” by moving its troops into Siachen in 1983, but that both countries had agreed to an unconditional withdrawal in 1989. “We hope that following this statement, India would unconditionally withdraw its aggression on the basis of past agreements,” he said. “Once that takes place, Siachen would become a mountain of peace.”