Islamabad, April 8 (IANS) Pakistan and India must "strive with all their might to resolve the issues that underpin" the Siachen conflict, said a daily Sunday, a day after 124 Pakistani soldiers were buried under an avalanche and President Asif Ali Zardari was arriving in India on a day's visit.
At least 124 Pakistani soldiers and 11 civilians were buried under snow early Saturday when a massive avalanche hit their camp in the country's Siachen region.
The soldiers belong to the 6 Northern Light Infantry Battalion stationed near Skardu in Pakistani Kashmir, some 4,500 meters above the sea level. The more than 20-metre high avalanche occurred around 6.00 a.m
An editorial in the News International said: "The Siachen glacier has the dubious distinction of being the world's highest battleground, and more men have died there as a result of the effects of the elements than from enemy action."
"Temperatures can drop as low as minus 70C, access is by air, no vegetation for cover and troops sometimes fight above 20,000 feet. Many lose limbs and extremities to frostbite. Altitude sickness kills or disables others," it said.
Stating that the battle for this remote place "consumes vast resources of both Pakistan and India", the daily noted: "Perhaps the incident may serve as a trigger for both sides to re-examine just why it is that they are fighting and dying on the roof of the world."
"Can there be a point of negotiation? Can a compromise be reached which leaves honour and dignity intact on both sides?," it wondered.
The daily hoped that the "politicians of India and Pakistan strive with all their might to resolve the issues that underpin this conflict".
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