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India, Pakistan reaffirms to seek an amicable solution to Siachen issue

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Aug 9, IRNA -- India and Pakistan have reaffirmed their resolve to seek an amicable solution to the Siachen issue but no consensus could be arrived at during the recent Defence Secretary-level talks between the two nations, government said here Wednesday.

The 13th round of Siachen talks between the Defense Secretaries of India and Pakistan was held at Rawalpindi in Pakistan from 11th to 12th June.

'The sequence of steps to resolve the issue were discussed. No consensus could be arrived at. Both sides reaffirmed their resolve to seek an amicable solution,' Defense Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

During the talks, the Indian side was led by Defense Secretary Shashikant Sharma while Pakistan was represented by its Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi.

Indian and Pakistani troops have been engaged in a standoff on Siachen, described as the world's highest and coldest battlefield, since 1984.

In 2003, the two countries put in place a ceasefire along the frontiers in Jammu and Kashmir but reportedly more troops have died on the glacier due to the adverse weather than combat.

Replying to a question over recruitment of youths from Jammu & Kashmir in the Army, Antony said, 'As per the extant policy for induction of Other Ranks, vacancies are allocated based on the recruitable male population of the State. Recruitment into Army from J&K is being done on a regular basis.'

The Defense Minister also said that the situation in the state has shown a perceptible improvement in terms of all parameters of terrorist violence.

'However there is a continuous attempt of infiltration,' he added.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80268184

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