Islamabad - The Senate Defence Committee on Tuesday paid an historic visit to Siachen to express solidarity of parliament and the political forces with the valiant soldiers and officers defending the motherland in the world’s toughest terrain.

This was the first such visit by any parliament committee to Siachen.

The committee criticised the Indian military establishment for sabotaging all efforts for peace in Siachen, and said that India had consistently rejected all proposals for peace in Siachen, that had been made by Pakistan, even in the aftermath of the Giyari tragedy. The committee told the troops, “we are your voice in the Parliament.”

The Senate Defence Committee, during their 2-day visit first landed in Skardu from Islamabad, where it received an initial briefing before flying to Giyari, which is at a height of 12,500 feet, where 140 soldiers and officers of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an avalanche in April 2012. The delegation also laid a wreath at the monument for the martyrs of Giyari.

Then the Senate Defence Committee delegation flew to a strategic military post in Siachen, located at Bilafond-la, at a height of almost 17,000 feet, not far from where the Indian Army is based at the Line of Actual Contact.

The Committee delegation met the troops in the world’s highest battlefield and lauded their valour, morale and determination in performing their professional functions under such difficult conditions, when the weather can even reach -50 degrees centigrade in the peak of winter.

They said the people of Pakistan are proud of their armed forces and can never forget their sacrifices in defending every inch of the country despite being outnumbered by an adversary superior in numbers and weaponry, but not in fighting spirit, morale and motivation.

After their return from Bilafond-la, the Senate Defence Committee received another briefing at the local Brigade Headquarters at Goma, which is at a height of 10,500 feet.

Senator Mushahid Hussain also expressed his concern over the consequences of Climate Change and Global Warming, which was having adverse consequences not just for Siachen due to freak weather incidents like the Giyari tragedy. He urged India to cooperate with Pakistan to jointly formulate a regional strategy on the issue of climate change and global warming.

He also presented a media manual on climate change, prepared by the Senate Defence Committee.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Senator Sabir Ali Baloch, Acting Chairman of the Senate, and Senator Haji Adeel also addressed the troops and expressed solidarity and support to the Armed Forces.

The delegation included Mushahid Hussain, Sabir Ali Baloch, Haji Adeel, Mohsin Leghari, Abdur Rauf and Dr Saeeda Iqbal, as well as Secretary of the Defence Committee Dr Pervez Abbas.