Launched on April 13, 1984, Operation MacDuto was a costly and lengthy operation by the Indian Army. Survival began with a pre-strike that was wonderfully planned, precisely planned and precisely executed by India at difficult heights, resulting in India capturing the heights of Saltoro and effectively controlling the Siachen Glacier.
Without any resolution or solution to the Siachen problem between India and Pakistan, both sides have stated various reasons to justify their regional claims and much has been written about it. However, a number of facts have come to light over the past few years that require us to reconsider some of the conclusions reached before evaluating the whole controversy from its proper perspective.
Pakistan has long played the death card by branding India as an invader. Understandably, it’s more convenient for their establishment than to admit that they tried, failed, and then fell asleep. The fact that Pakistan wanted to occupy the Siachen Glacier in March 1984 and had planned for it before India is no longer integrated. Many Pakistani writers, including Zulfikar Ali Khalid, General Pervez Musharraf and General Jahan Dat Khan, have confirmed this and acknowledged that India put Pakistan ahead in the competition for the iceberg.
It is an accepted position that Pakistan occupied the glacier with the intention of establishing a permanent base in September 1983, but its troops were forced to withdraw due to inclement weather and shortage of supplies. After that it was a race for the iceberg, despite the obvious advantage of accessibility to Pakistan, which was only a one-day turn from its path, so India occupied it. Pakistan lost fair and square. Period.
The fortress of Pakistan’s claim to the area north of the line connecting NJ 9842 with the Karakoram Pass has at times been shown by many international map experts on their side. However, documents classifying the origin of this map error as the office of US State Department geologist Robert de Hodgson have now also disintegrated, as he unilaterally extended the ceasefire from NJ 9842 to the Karakoram Pass in 1968. When dealing with the question of how J&K state borders should be displayed on US maps, from the US ADIZ (Air Defense Identity Zone) map.
In fact, the line claiming that Pakistan belongs to it has never been drawn. In its protest note in August 1983, when Pakistan formally claimed all territory north of the Hodgson Line, India and Pakistan were pushed into battle on the highest battlefield in the world. This is a small change in the US agency’s map. It is pertinent to mention. The US State Department removed this line from all maps of India in 1986 and no relevant explanation has been given as to why it first appeared.
The Karachi Ceasefire Agreement of 27 July 1949 (Karachi CFA) is used as a veil of ambiguity especially over the only agreement dealing with this area, to justify the existence of the now-destroyed Hodgson’s Line if the agreement is ambiguous. Then it is capable of giving many explanations as opposed to something clear and unnecessary. Therefore, many authors describe the Karachi CFA as obscure, as far as dealing with this area is concerned. They explain that the ceasefire line ended at NJ 9842 and that the area beyond it was left impassable.
Some have vague words for the controversy ‘glaciers from there north’, others explain the same agreement, and indicate that the ceasefire line NJ 9842 extends beyond the glaciers to the north. There is such a difference in the interpretation of a simple document that clearly describes how the Ceasefire Line should continue beyond NJ 9842, even thirty-eight years after MacDonald.
Subsections of this Agreement, Part B2d and C of Part I, applicable to this Territory, have been re-created here: B.2 (d) from Talunang to the East Ceasefire Point15495, Ishman, Manus, Gangam, Gunderman, Point13620, Junkar (Point17628), Marmak, Natsara, Shangruth (Point 17531), Chorbat La (Point 15700), Chalunka (Shyok River), Khor, and from there to the glaciers to the north. This part of the ceasefire will be defined in detail by local commanders with the assistance of United Nations military observers based on the actual situation of 27 July 1949. C.