Pak, India should review deployment of forces at Siachen: Khar

Lahore: Pakistan and India should take a lesson from the recent avalanche that buried 138 people in the Siachen sector and review troop deployments on the Himalayan glacier, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said today.

"Pakistan and India should take a lesson from the incident at Gyari camp. They will have to review the deployment of forces at Siachen," Khar said while addressing a ceremony held after a polo match in Lahore.

An avalanche slammed into a Pakistan Army battalion headquarters at Gyari in the Siachen sector on April 7, burying 127 soldiers and 11 civilians. Pakistani troops have been engaged in a frantic search for the buried men at the site of the disaster.

Pakistani media analysts and politicians have called for a review of the deployment of forces at Siachen, where soldiers from the two countries have been engaged in standoff since 1984.

The guns have largely been silent since late 2003, when the two sides put in place a ceasefire along the frontiers in Jammu and Kashmir, and more troops have died due to the adverse weather than combat.

Khar further said Pakistan wants peaceful relations with India and President Asif Ali Zardari`s day-long visit to the neighbouring country on April 8 had helped in improving ties between the two countries.

She expressed concern at attacks by the Taliban in several cities of Afghanistan today, including the capital Kabul. "Pakistan condemns the attacks in Afghanistan," she said.

Khar also welcomed the Bangladesh Cricket Board`s announcement that its team would tour Pakistan later this month. "The decision will go a long way to pave for other cricketing nations to come here," she added.

The tour by Bangladesh will be the first by a foreign team since international cricket in Pakistan was suspended after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009.