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Make Siachen a peace mountain: PM

By Ajay Kaul in Siachen
Last updated on: June 12, 2005 15:38 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the time has come to make efforts to convert Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world, into a 'peace mountain'.

He, however, asserted that there could be 'no redrawing of boundaries' in the search for peace as it concerned the country's security and prestige.

"Siachen is called the highest battlefield where living is very difficult. Now the time has come to make efforts to convert this battlefield into a peace mountain. Talks are going on with Pakistan in this regard," Dr Singh, who became the first prime minister to visit Siachen -- situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft -- told troops deployed in Siachen.

"Our efforts should be such that an environment of peace is created, wherein nobody feels any threat and there is no scope for conflict. Siachen must become an example of peace," the prime minister said.

Hailing the contributions of soldiers towards unity and integrity of the country, he told the soldiers that all their requirements will be met.

Dr Singh announced that two home theatres and a CT scan facility will soon be provided in Siachen.

Noting that the government was deeply concerned about the well-being of the forces, he said he had decided on visiting Siachen to see for himself the conditions in which the troops were living.

"I wanted to see for myself as to what your living conditions and arrangements are and what the government can do to address your problems," the prime minister told the soldiers.

 Singh said the path to the future may be ridden with challenges and difficulties, but with everyone's contribution these will be overcome.

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Ajay Kaul in Siachen
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