SiachenBySandia

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Published on February 5, 2008

Author: Silvia

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Demilitarization of the Siachen Glacier:  Implementing and Monitoring the Process :  Demilitarization of the Siachen Glacier:  Implementing and Monitoring the Process Brigadier (ret.) Asad Hakeem Brigadier (ret.) Gurmeet Kanwal The Project Investigated Modalities for Demilitarization of the Siachen Conflict Zone:  The Project Investigated Modalities for Demilitarization of the Siachen Conflict Zone We assume that some form of political consensus will eventually be reached and the project focuses on the operational modalities and monitoring necessary to implement military disengagement Questions to be answered: What steps would constitute a practical and feasible disengagement process? What would be a viable time frame for demilitarization? What concept of unilateral or cooperative monitoring is likely to be acceptable to both India and Pakistan? Which current and future monitoring technologies and procedures can assist in the verification of demilitarization? Satellite Map of the Siachen Region:  Satellite Map of the Siachen Region The Siachen Conflict:  The Siachen Conflict On April 13, 1984 Indian troops using helicopters occupied the Sia La and Bilafond La passes along the Saltoro Range Pakistan moved its military to the Saltoro Range in response Conflict is typically small-scale clashes (usually May to November) with the largest clashes occurring in 1987 and 1992 A cease-fire has held since November 2003 The Composite Dialog Siachen Working Group met most recently in May 2005 Photographs used with permission, Martin A. Sugarman ã Military Operations in the Siachen Conflict Zone :  Military Operations in the Siachen Conflict Zone Troops are arrayed along the Saltoro Range Posts are typically manned by 6 – 18 troops Fire support and logistics camps are farther back Troops rotate between camps from low to high altitude and back The highest posts are over 20,000 feet Troops serve 1 to 3 months at the posts Photographs used with permission, Martin A. Sugarman ã Pakistani Forward Post and Artillery Position Kumar Base serves as the Indian logistics center on the glacier:  Kumar Base serves as the Indian logistics center on the glacier Kumar Base Photo by Indian Air Force Camp III on path from Base Camp to Kumar Base Photo by Teru Kuwayama, Outside Magazine Operational Constraints on Siachen:  Operational Constraints on Siachen Operations are constrained by: Terrain Altitude Climate Lack of navigable routes Acclimatization to high altitudes is critical to survival A minimum of 48 to 72 hours needed per phase Phase I: 9000 – 12000 feet Phase II: 12000 – 15000 feet Phase III: 15000 – 18000 feet Acclimatization above 18000 feet is extremely difficult Attempts to operate without acclimatization leads to pulmonary and cerebral edema and is now banned! Acclimatization makes it difficult to maintain reserves and impossible to send reinforcements from outside Logistics are key to military operations in Siachen:  Logistics are key to military operations in Siachen Each side has road-served base camps that serve as logistics centers. Pakistan’s Goma base India’s Dzingrulma base camp Images from the Quickbird commercial satellite Siachen logistics - transportation:  Siachen logistics - transportation All supply to forward areas is done by aircraft, jeep, pack animal, or porter Fixed-wing aircraft and large helos drop supplies with parachutes Only limited air operations in the winter Light helos used for evacuation and small loads to forward posts India has longer supply routes and relies more on aircraft for supply Photographs used with permission, Martin A. Sugarman ã Summer is the critical period for logistics:  Summer is the critical period for logistics Supply caches are built on approaches to the Saltoro during the summer months for winter use (“winter stocking”) Indian supply route: from railheads at Pathankot and Jammu by truck through Srinagar, Kargil, to Partapur or Leh and then to the base camp at Dzingrulma. Fixed wing aircraft and large helos based at Thoise and Leh Pakistan supply route : Skardu by road through the Shigar Valley to Askole (northern sector) and to Dansam and Goma (central and southern sectors) Helos are based at Skardu At base camps, supplies are broken into smaller loads for pack animal, porter, soldier, and light helo Units are rotated during summer months India’s Strategic Perspective on the Conflict:  India’s Strategic Perspective on the Conflict Pakistan illegally transferred 5,180 square km of territory just north of the Siachen area to China in March 1963 Although the demarcated LOC ends at NJ 9842, by the late 1970s Pakistani maps began showing the LOC running in a northeasterly direction from NJ 9842 towards the Karakoram Pass – the Indian government called this “cartographic aggression” At the same time, Pakistan began issuing permits to international mountaineering expeditions to enter the Siachen area India occupied the Siachen Glacier to pre-empt its occupation by the Pakistan army After the Kargil conflict of 1999, the Indian MOD finds it difficult to accept verbal Pakistani assurances that they will not occupy posts vacated by the Indian Army - joint physical delineation of the present positions must be done first Outline of the Approach to Demilitarization:  Outline of the Approach to Demilitarization Formalize the Cease-fire understanding Establish communication links between Pakistani and Indian brigade HQs (Khapulu/Skardu and Partapur) and Division HQs (Gilgit and Leh) Establish a core “Uninhabited Zone” around Siachen and the Saltoro Range No permanent residents Environmental restoration work permitted International scientific research permitted Licensed mountaineering expeditions permitted Establish a “Civilian Zone” adjacent to the Uninhabited Zone Only civilian residents and activities permitted Establish a Joint Liaison and Monitoring Center (JMC) where the LOC crosses the Shyok River (near Chalunka) Monitoring will focus on military logistics and access Augment Demilitarized Zone (DMZ-2) around NJ 9842 later Schedule for Disengagement:  Schedule for Disengagement Operational principles: Establish a Joint Working Group chaired by the DGMOs with meetings at the Wagah border crossing Implement disengagement from higher to lower positions Must accept variability in process due to changeable weather conditions Weather forces disengagement to be conducted during the summer season (May – September) Brig. Hakeem’s view: Do in 1 season Take full advantage of political will to ensure irreversibility Brig. Kanwal’s view: Do over 2 seasons India has more infrastructure and longer distances to travel Disengagement Phases:  Disengagement Phases Phase 1: Withdraw medium artillery located in base camps (e.g., Dzingrulma, Gyari) Phases 2 – 4: Withdraw from Northern, Central, and Southern battalion sectors respectively Forward and fire support posts Declare camps where troops from forward positions can concentrate Dismantle after withdrawal Phase 5: Withdraw from logistics camps on or near glacier Phase 6: Dismantle logistics camps Phase 7: Withdraw from base camps Phase 8: Dismantle or convert base camps to scientific/civil use Pakistan’s Strategic Perspective on the Conflict:  Pakistan’s Strategic Perspective on the Conflict The Indian occupation of Siachen is perceived as a major act of aggression and a violation of the 1972 Simla Agreement Pakistan had de facto control prior to 1984 based on: Statements in 1960s by Indian PM Nehru Official Indian protests to China relative to their border dispute Orientation of glaciers between NJ 9842 and the Karakoram Pass Representation of the LOC past NJ 9842 in international maps and atlases There have been Pakistanis on expeditions to the area since 1962 The line joining NJ 9842 and KKP is “cartographic expression” not aggression India uses negotiations to delay and deflect international pressure The dispute in Kashmir is not over territory but the right of self determination for Kashmiris Map of the Conceptual Demilitarized Zone:  Map of the Conceptual Demilitarized Zone Demilitarized Zone = Uninhabited Zone (UZ) + Civilian Zone (CZ) DMZ is without prejudice to Pak-China border agreement and India’s position thereon DMZ does not affect India’s current patrolling in the area under its control UZ CZ CZ DMZ-2 Two phases of monitoring are necessary:  Two phases of monitoring are necessary Phase 1: Monitoring disengagement during the establishment of the DMZ Verify that posts, logistics centers, and base camps vacated Phase 2: Post-disengagement monitoring of the DMZ Verify that military personnel and equipment have not re-entered the DMZ The primary monitoring mechanism will be bilateral and cooperative India has historically rejected third party participation Unilateral monitoring by national technical means will continue Monitoring Disengagement:  Monitoring Disengagement Goal is to verify withdrawal and dismantlement of military facilities Visual: The withdrawal from Indian and Pakistani posts within line of sight of each other is to be coordinated so each side can observe activities of the other. Ammunition and heavy weapons which cannot be moved will be destroyed in-place. Joint Aerial Reconnaisance: A pair Indian and Pakistani helos rendezvous at an agreed location and then fly together along the Forward Battle Positions in the agreed sector to visually verify and photographically record withdrawal and dismantlement of post or logistics camp. On-site inspection: Both sides have the right to request its representative land by helo at a location to confirm withdrawal and dismantlement. Unilateral activities: Both sides should agree not to interfere with the other’s national technical means Long-term Monitoring of the DMZ:  Long-term Monitoring of the DMZ Goal of detecting illicit re-occupation of positions within the DMZ Monitoring considerations: Nothing happens fast on Siachen – logistics and weather drive everything The possibility of a quick stealthy reoccupation, absent an air bridge, is remote Aerial operations are obvious Small-scale intrusions are neither significant nor sustainable Monitoring should focus on logistics All Indian logistics flows through Dzingrulma Pakistani logistics has multiple paths through civilian villages Photograph used with permission, Martin A. Sugarman ã Potential Access Control Point – India :  Potential Access Control Point – India Bridge crossing near Chumikchan on the road to Dzingrulma Quickbird commerfcial satellite image Potential Access Control Point - Pakistan:  Potential Access Control Point - Pakistan The road junction at Dansam includes supply routes to central and southern sectors Quickbird commerfcial satellite image Remote Monitoring of Access Control Points :  Remote Monitoring of Access Control Points Sensor-activated video camera transmits images of activity to the Joint Monitoring Center Solar-powered system with satellite communication Less intrusiveness than manned presence System records activity in/out of DMZ and identifies military activity Milder climate at lower elevations enables maintenance Example of prototype camera system and microwave sensor Aerial / Satellite Monitoring :  Aerial / Satellite Monitoring Commercial satellite imagery is an objective way to detect large and medium size construction activities Coverage every 3 – 4 days Aerial Monitoring Conduct regularly scheduled overflights (paired aircraft or joint crew) of the UZ using video and thermal imaging cameras Hand-held thermal imagers have been used successfully in aerial search and rescue missions Option to request unscheduled flight to resolve questions of compliance that may arise Hand-held Agema 550 thermal imager Helicopter-mounted L3 Communications thermal imager On-site Inspection:  On-site Inspection On-site inspection of dismantlement or conversion of military facilities in CZ Some Pakistani organizations/facilities support the local population Base camps on both sides can support scientific activities Resident observers may be maintained at some locations such as base camps Precedents in Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty inspections Post-Disengagement Activities in Siachen UZ:  Post-Disengagement Activities in Siachen UZ Establishment of a “Siachen Science Center” Center would serve international and regional science objectives International civilian staffing Environmental restoration of the Siachen Glacier Waste poses long-term threat to both countries through the shared Indus River watershed Biodegradation is very slow in this climate International material aid likely required – UNEP could coordinate A long-term remediation effort is necessary Indian Army conducted a study of waste on the Siachen Glacier 41000 tons of solid waste Fuel spills Human and food waste Unexploded ordnance Siachen Disengagement: The Precedent of Chumik Glacier Disengagement:  Siachen Disengagement: The Precedent of Chumik Glacier Disengagement Developments in April 1989 Indian Army dumped supplies and established base camps for approach to Naveed peak A race for the top ensued Pakistan occupied the top first by helo dropping troops on April 16 On April 30 Pakistan raided Indian positions Airlift of troops on April 16 Chumik Glacier Naveed Peak The Chumik Glacier Disengagement Process:  The Chumik Glacier Disengagement Process After the April 30 raid, the Indians requested a Flag Meeting Flag meetings held on May 6, 13 and 20 1989 Agreement in principle achieved on May 13 Successful withdrawal began on May 21 Agreement holds to date Brig. Hakeem (then a Major) at the May 13 Flag Meeting Conclusions and Observations:  Conclusions and Observations Political will and innovative approaches are necessary to stop the conflict on Siachen Disengagement is operationally feasible The Siachen Working Group needs to agree on options for disengagement and monitoring mechanisms The post-disengagement use of the Uninhabited Zone should be devoted to international scientific and mountaineering activities Post-conflict assessment and cleanup by the UN Environment Program is needed A joint India-Pakistan request is necessary Disengagement in the Siachen Conflict Zone will serve as a precedent for the entire LOC

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