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This is with reference to the statement by Mr Nawaz Sharif that ‘Pakistan should take lead in pulling out of Siachen’. Like most other statements by our politicians this statement also comes as a reaction to an event. But does it merit serious consideration? Will taking lead in pulling out our forces from Siachen compel India to do the same?
It has been three decades since both countries signed Simla Agreement. Has that helped Pakistan? Which dispute/issue have we been able to ‘solve bilaterally’ let alone take the lead in pulling out our forces and leave an open invitation to the Indians to take away further ‘what is left for us to hold in Siachen’. Militarily we can never depend upon the good intentions of the enemy. It is only its capability or lack of it that continues to draw our appropriate response. Lets not forget that India is the aggressor in Siachen, we only stopped the advancing Indian military that has occupied two third of Siachen Glacier. If anyone has to take lead in withdrawing forces from Siachen it is the Indians.
As a young captain when I served at the glacier occupying a post at 22000 feet the greatest motivational force or inspiration was to defend the borderline against any Indian aggression. Strong snow blizzards did not allow the evacuation of sick men from the post (pulmonary edema, cerebral edema) and men died without us being able to do anything. Many such brave men have died on so many posts over the years just because they loved their country and cherished the opportunity to guard the national border irrespective of the harshness of the terrain. They could not accept Indians to take away an inch of land that was now held with us.
Today when 138 sons of this land have sacrificed their lives why do we focus only on the tragedy and forget the cause for which they died? Why do we forget those unsung heroes in thousands who have died since last 28 years this war in Siachen is being fought? Why didn’t we take lead in withdrawing our forces in the years went by? If guarding and protecting our borders through our armed forces is not a national responsibility then why have borders at all? Why keep and maintain the defence forces?
Yes, we are faced with many challenges and threats. One big reason that we face these threats is to compel us to falter in our will and resolve that guides us to stay together as one nation. Force us to ultimately choose the only weapon that our enemies want us to pick and fight – compromise – the weapon of weak’. On vital national interests we should never unilaterally compromise because that’s what our enemies want us to do.
The best tribute that Mr Nawaz Sharif could have given to the martyrs of the Siachen was to salute the cause, believing in which the soldiers sacrificed their lives. To all the politicians who rule us today and who will rise to rule the people of this country in future I wish to convey a message. ‘Don’t send soldiers to wars as all wars are bad. But when you have chosen to send them don’t ever say the war you send them to fight is not worth fighting for'.
All wars must eventually end. The only wars without ends are the wars that the politicians perpetuate by failing to stop them from being fought on the negotiating tables.
Written by LT COL (retd) MUHAMMAD ALI EHSAN for 'PakistanToday'.
The so called liberal secular fascists of SAFMA combined with the very wise (not so) Shareef have started calling to pull out from Siachen when around 138 sons of this land sacrificed their lives for the sake of safeguarding Pak Sarzameen. It's crucial to note that these pleas from the Indian mouthpiece SAFMA come at a time when the eminent and strong Indian Think Tanks plan to advance their forces at Siachen. Instead of giving tribute to the sons of the Land who laid their lives selflessly to protect the boundaries of this land, the SAFMA gang all of a sudden overwhelmingly became patriotic and started feeling the pain of the sons of the land whom previously, they have have been maligning all their past lives!