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» 06/11/2012
Islamabad-New Delhi talks over Himalaya glacier
The Pakistani government wants to break the stalemate over an area claimed by both sides for more than 50 years. New Delhi is not eager for change and warns against high expectations. In April, an avalanche killed 139 Pakistani soldiers. Between 1984 and 2003, Siachen glacier's cold weather and avalanches have killed more soldiers than fighting.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Indian and Pakistani defence officials began a two-day round of talks Monday to discuss the stalemate over the Siachen Glacier and its possible demilitarisation. India holds the area but Pakistan claims it.

Held in Rawalpindi, the meeting was requested by the Pakistani side after an avalanche killed 139 people at a military camp on 7 April. Over the years, sub-zero temperatures and high altitude have killed more soldiers than fighting.

The Indian side was led by Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, whilst the Pakistani side was led by his counterpart Nargis Sethi.

The meeting is part of renewed talks between the two countries, after they were interrupted by the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Many however see the talks as a mere formality with few chances of changing the status quo. In recent days, Sharma warned against hopes for "any dramatic announcement or decision on an issue which is very important for us".

The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalaya Mountains, in the Ladakh region, northern Jammu and Kashmir.

The 70 kilometre-long glacier is the longest in the range, and the second in the world (poles excluded).

Following independence in 1947, Kashmir and its glaciers were the object of separate territorial claims.

Between 1984 and 2003, the area was involved in the 'Siachen conflict', which included a series of armed clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops along the glacier.

In 2003, Islamabad signed a ceasefire, leaving the area under Indian administration.

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See also
07/14/2008 INDIA – PAKISTAN
India blames Pakistan for Kabul bombing but continues peace talks
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/21/2008 INDIA - PAKISTAN
Kashmir, after 60 years India and Pakistan reopen trade route
09/05/2005 INDIA - PAKISTAN
First meeting between Kashmir separatists and Indian PM
11/16/2006 INDIA – CHINA
Buddhist political and religious leaders in Indian border state fear Chinese territorial ambitions
by Prakash Dubey
08/07/2009 CHINA – INDIA
Sino-Indian border talks resume

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