The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains, just east of the Line of Control between India-Pakistan. India controls all of the Siachen Glacier itself, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world`s non-polar areas. It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its source at Indira Col (pass) on the China border down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at its snout.
The Siachen glacier is the highest battleground on earth, where India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since April 13, 1984. Both countries maintain permanent military presence in the region at a height of over 6,000 metres (20,000 ft). More than 2000 people have died in this inhospitable terrain, mostly due to weather extremes and the natural hazards of mountain warfare. The site is one of the most eminent examples of mountain warfare.
India launched Operation Meghdoot (named after the divine cloud messenger in a Sanskrit play by Kalidasa) on 13 April 1984 when the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force went into the glacier region. Pakistan quickly responded with troop deployments and what followed was literally a race to the top. Within a few days, the Indians were in control of the area, as Pakistan was beaten to the Saltoro Ridge high ground by about a week. The two northern passes - Sia La and Bilafond La - were quickly secured by India. The contentious area is about 900 square miles (2,300 km2) to nearly 1,000 square miles (2,600 km2) of territory in India. Since 1984 Pakistan has launched several attempts to displace the Indian forces, but with little success. The most well known was in 1987, when an attempt was made by Pakistan to dislodge India from the area. The attack was masterminded by Pervez Musharraf (later President of Pakistan) heading a newly raised elite SSG commando unit raised with United States Special Operations Forces help in the area. A special garrison with eight thousand troops was built at Khapalu. The immediate aim was to capture Bilafond La but after bitter fighting that included hand to hand combat, the Pakistanis were thrown back and the positions remained the same. The only Param Vir Chakra - India`s highest gallantry award - to be awarded for combat in the Siachen area went to Naib Subedar Bana Singh (retired as Subedar Major/Honorary Captain), who in a daring daylight raid assaulted and captured a Pakistani post atop a 22,000 foot (6,700 m) peak, now named Bana Post, after climbing a 457 m (1500 feet) ice cliff face.
A cease fire went into effect in 2003. Even before then, every year more soldiers were killed because of severe weather than enemy firing. The two sides by 2003 had lost an estimated 2,000 personnel primarily due to frostbite, avalanches and other complications. Together, the nations have about 150 manned outposts along the glacier, with some 3,000 troops each. Official figures for maintaining these outposts are put at ~$300 and ~$200 million for India and Pakistan respectively. India built the world`s highest helipad on the glacier at Point Sonam, 21,000 feet (6,400 m) above the sea level, to supply its troops. India also installed the world`s highest telephone central on the glacier.
One of the factors behind the Kargil War in 1999 when Pakistan sent infiltrators to occupy vacated Indian posts across the Line of Control was their belief that India would be forced to withdraw from Siachen in exchange of a Pakistani withdrawal from Kargil. Both sides had previously desired to disengage from the costly military outposts but after the Kargil War, India decided to maintain its military outposts on the glacier, wary of further Pakistani incursions into Kashmir if they vacate from the Siachen Glacier posts without an official recognition from Pakistan of the current positions.
Indian Military ready to fight China and Pakistan at the same time
Shimla-based Indian Army Training Command, headed by Lt-General A S Lamba is getting ready for something Indian Military never was ready before. Indian Air Force, Navy, and Army is ready to face Pakistan and China at the same time.
India`s 1.13-million strong Military is now panning to handle two major war fronts at the same time. India considers Pakistan and China as part of the same camp. India knows the next war will be between India and Pakistan +China. India will get indirect support from America and Russia, but Indian Military will have to fight the two war at the same time.
Indian Military has been training for the mini giant war against two nuclear powered nations at the same time. China has used Pakistan for a long time to keep India busy. Now time has come for India to recognize a massive threat from China and Pakistan at the same time.
Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor emphasizes that India is ready for a the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly) in the multiple fronts against multiple different militias at the same time.
The plan is a full thrust assault into multiple anomies at the same time with massive Air Force superiority. If attacked by Pakistan and china at the same time, India will launch self-contained and highly-mobile `battle groups``, with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by far superior air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours.
India plans to end the war decisively within the first 96 hours forcing the other sides into a fast submission of ceasefire.
People`s Liberation Army is aware of the capacities of Indian Army and Air Force. It will be exactly opposite of 1962 war. That is why they are busy building massive infrastructure in the Indian border areas especially in Aksai Chin and Tibet.
he real war in that scenario will be between India and China while Pakistan will be used by China to create adequate disturbance for Indian Military.
That is the reason why Lt-General A S Lamba of Indian Army is so keen a massive thrust into Rawalpindi to quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of assault.
India`s biggest advantage is the its software capabilities in integrating signal intelligence with ground intelligence. India will use algorithmic seek and scan technology to counter the Chinese threats in the North and possible Pakistani nuclear threat in the West.
India is focused on integrating its Navy, Army and Air Force into an integrated command and Control system completely controlled and dominated by the superior software algorithms that can prove deadly in the war front.