Pakistan avalanche shines light on ‘futile’ war

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On Sunday, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in India, the first time the two leaders have met in three years. The issue of Siachen was raised in the 40-minute meeting, according to Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

Analysts say that resolving Siachen should be possible before the much more difficult dispute over Kashmir is attempted.

Because no one lives in the region and it is of no strategic value, a joint or even unilateral withdrawal from one side could break the logjam.

“Why should we be going for an agreement? We should just withdraw,” said Imtiaz Alam, the head of the South Asian Free Media Association, which promotes regional peace. “If we do that, Indian domestic pressure will also result in a withdrawal there. They will say it is madness to continue.”

Each country spends many millions of dollars to maintain troops in the remote region.

“We should do joint research in the area on how to stop the glacier melting,” Mr. Alam said. “Make it a peace park instead of wasting money.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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