SRINAGAR – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas on August 12 during his second visit since he took over in May to the Indian-held Jammu Kashmir.
In 2005, then Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh also visited the Siachen Glacier, world’s highest and coldest battlefield with both Pakistani and Indian soldiers stationed there since 1984. After a ceasefire, the guns have largely been silent since late 2003.
There have been repeated calls to demilitarise the glacier because of the cost of maintaining troops at those icy heights and the high casualties from hostile weather. More troops have died on the glacier due to adverse weather than combat.
Prime Minister Modi – who had visited the disputed state in early July for a whirlwind day-long tour – will also visit Kargil and Leh in Ladakh, where he will address public rallies and will also inaugurate a power transmission line which will be built at an altitude of over 10,000 feet in snowy terrain.