The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas, where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. At 76 km long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas.
Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region. In 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot, a military operation that gave India control over all of the Siachen Glacier, including its tributaries.
On October 21, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Indian government had decided to open the entire area from Siachen base camp to Kumar Post for tourism purposes.
Pakistan on Thursday said the Siachen area, the world’s highest battlefield, was a disputed territory and could not be opened for tourism by India.
Responding to media reports that India was starting tourism in the Siachen area, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said, “India forcibly occupied Siachen Glacier and it is a disputed area. How can India open it for tourism?”
Faisal added that Pakistan was not expecting anything good or positive from India in the matter. Faisal alleged India was creating hurdles for pilgrims visiting Kartarpur which was opened this month, celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
Faisal in an interview stated that 5,000 people were allowed to visit the shrine but the actual numbers were lower than expected. The Kartarpur Corridor was thrown open by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 9, facilitating Indian pilgrims to visit one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines in the Pakistani town of Narowal.