'No link between Siachen, other issues with Pakistan'
On Board Air India One, June 16 (IANS) India attaches no link between the progress in talks with Pakistan on reducing military presence in Siachen Glacier and other bilateral matters, a top official said.
The official also added that the Indian armed forces were better prepared than ever before, seeking to quell such an impression after the letter to that effect written by former army chief General V.K. Singh.
"Our composite dialogue with Pakistan continues. We don't see any link between Siachen and other issues, nor have they (the Pakistan side) told us something on these lines," the official said.
The comments come against the backdrop of the recent talks in Islamabad between the defence secretaries of the two countries where de-militarization of Siachen was also discussed, but with little progress.
Regarding India's defence preparedness, the official said several steps had been taken since last year to spruce up the country's armed forces. "We are better prepared than ever before."
He also said that it was a matter of routine, and nothing wrong in terms of protocol or otherwise, for retiring army chiefs to write letters to prime ministers.
(Arvind Padmanabhan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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