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Manmohan govt was under pressure to compromise on Siachen, wanted to call it ‘Mountain of Peace’ by letting the Pakistanis have it: Former COAS JJ Singh

Speaking to Republic TV, General JJ Singh (Retd.), who was the COAS during the UPA-I, said that the Manmohan Singh-led government wanted to demilitarise the Siachen glacier and cede the control of the strategic glacier to Pakistan possibly under the pressure of Americans.

Former Chief of Army Staff General (Retd) JJ Singh on Wednesday made an explosive revelation stating that there was ‘pressure’, possibly from the United States on the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government to compromise on the highly strategic Siachen Glacier in Ladakh in a bid to ‘settle disputes’ with Pakistan.

Speaking to Republic TV, General JJ Singh (Retd.), who was the Chief of Indian Army during the UPA-I, said that the Manmohan Singh-led government wanted to demilitarise the Siachen glacier and cede the control of the strategic glacier to Pakistan possibly under the pressure of Americans.

The former Army Chief also revealed that the UPA government and its security establishment wanted to make Siachen a ‘mountain of peace’.

“There was some pressure being built on the government of that time to settle the Siachen issue, it could be pressure from America who was close to Pakistan. Manmohan Singh’s team, which included Shyam Saran, the NSA and others, said we want to make Siachen ‘a mountain of peace’. It was a discussion in Delhi.”

Further, General JJ Singh (Retd.) also mentioned that it was during the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989, that the proposal to disengage the troops from Siachen glaciers was made, however, the proposal did not go through, fortunately.

“Some of us would have landed us in the fallback position of a disadvantage as Pakistani Army could have easily captured the heights once Indian troops vacate it,” former COAS JJ Singh said.

General JJ Singh also said that the UPA government had asked him to be part of the discussion. However, he had asked the then-PM Manmohan Singh to instead visit Siachen Glacier to which the former Prime Minister agreed, where they discussed the importance of the area.

Revealing the strategic importance of the glacier, Gen Singh stated that from their current positions, the Pakistanis cannot even have a glimpse of the glacier. The glacier’s height allows India to monitor activities in the area from both Pakistani and Chinese sides.

General JJ Singh statements validates Shyam Saran’s disclosures

The disclosures made by the former Army Chief General JJ Singh regarding the intention of UPA-I to cede strategic territories such as Siachen to Pakistan further adds up to the allegations and revelations that the UPA and Congress party have been willing to compromise India’s territorial integrity on several occasions.

We had earlier reported in detail on how the UPA government under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to hand over the strategic region of Siachen glacier to Pakistan. 

According to former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, the Siachen glacier, which has immense strategic value to Indian security forces to keep an eye on both the Pakistan and China along the northern borders, was almost gifted to Pakistan by the Manmohan Singh government in 2006, but only to be stopped by the intervention of the then National Security Advisor (NSA) MK Narayanan.

Shyam Saran, who was the Foreign Secretary in the First Manmohan Singh government, has revealed in his book that, in 2006, he, along with his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan had struck a deal on the orders of Congress government to take back Indian troops and give away the Siachen Glacier to Pakistan.

But during the CCS meet, the then NSA MK Narayanan raised serious concerns about the deal and argued about compromising the National security of the country. The intervention from the then NSA Narayanan saved the strategic glacier from another Pakistani occupation.

The two disclosures – one made by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and the recent statements made by the former Army Chief JJ Singh only strengthens the Wikileaks report, which had exposed how the UPA government under Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had decided to give away Siachen glacier to Pakistan despite the Indian Army’s objections citing long-term national security implications.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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