Kayani says Pak army in favour of demilitarization of Siachen Glacier

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 19, 2012 08:20 hrs

Islamabad: Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that the military is in favour of demilitarizing the Siachen Glacier, which is dubbed as the world’s highest battleground.

On being asked about Nawaz Sharif’s comment that Pakistan should take the lead in pulling out its troops from the Siachen Glacier, General Kayani said: “I do not want to answer the questions raised by Nawaz Sharif; the world knows why we are sitting in Siachen; Pakistan is not willingly staying in Siachen as we placed our forces in response to India.”

He said both Pakistan and India should resolve all outstanding disputes with each other, including Kashmir and Siachen, through dialogue.

He said the high cost and environmental impact were good reasons why the area should not be militarised.

“Peaceful coexistence between the two neighbours is very important so that everybody can concentrate on the well-being of the people,” The Express Tribune quoted Kayani, as saying.

Kayani added that he would like to see the country spend less on defence, adding that defending borders should not be the country’s sole priority.

“We in the army understand very well that there should be a very good balance between defence and development. You cannot be spending on defence alone and forgetting about development,” he said.

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