Siachen

On April 13th 1984, India launched the Operation Meghdoot, whereby it gained control over the whole region of Siachen Glacier.

Siachen Glacier

The Siachen Glacier is located on the Karakoram Range of the Himalayas, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the longest glaciers in the world, extending to 70 kms.

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Siachen Glacier

Etymology – A Land of Roses

The word ‘Siachen’ in the Tibetan Balti language means ‘Rose plant’and ‘Chun’ means abundance’. Siachen literally means ‘A land of abundant roses’.

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Siachen Rose

Land of Guns

But isn’t it an irony, that from a land of roses, Siachen has now become a land of guns?

Siachen has now become the highest battle ground with guns coexisting with the roses.

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Siachen, the highest battle ground on earth

Guns N’ Roses

On a lighter note, the only other place where guns and roses are together is in the name of an American band, ‘Guns N’ Roses’.

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Guns N’ Roses Band logo

Siachen, An Area of Conflict

Siachen has been an area of conflict between India and Pakistan for many decades, with Pakistan laying claim to this whole territory.

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Siachen, A Point of Conflict between India and Pakistan

Operation Meghdoot

On April 13th 1984, India launched the Operation Meghdoot, whereby it gained control over the whole region of Siachen Glacier.

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Indian Army at Siachen

Pakistan Military was late to arrive at the mountain top and found a 300 solider military unit already stationed by India at the high point.

Pakistan’s failed attempts

After 1984, Pakistan made many attempts to capture Siachen from India.

One such attempt was made by Pakistan at the ‘height’ of Siachen in 1987, which actually turned out to be a ‘height of madness’. Pakistan Army under Pervez Musharraf sought to capture the Siachen region, with the help of United States Special Operations Forces.

A fierce attack was launched on India and a bitter fighting ensued between the two armies. The Indian Army gave a befitting reply as the Pakistani aggression was soon repulsed. The whole Siachen region continued to remain with India after this conflict.

In 1999, Pakistan Military made another failed attempt under Pervez Musharraf to dislodge India from Siachen, during the Kargil conflict. One of the reasons why Pakistan tried to occupy Kargil in 1999 was to force India to vacate Siachen in return for Pakistan withdrawal from Kargil. Pakistan army was again made to flee Kargil as India launched the ‘Operation Vijaya’.

Ceasefire

In 2003, a ceasefire was mutually agreed upon by the governments of India and Pakistan and remains to this day.

Peace continues to elude this region, as Pakistan continues to claim this piece of mountain, along with whole of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian Army however continues to maintain its stronghold at the ‘Roof of India’.

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An Indian Army Post in Siachen

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