The Gayari incident shocked the nation and caused grief not only to the families of those who lost their lives but also to the entire Pakistani nation. But, has the incident made any impact on the two countries involved in the Siachen conflict? Are they now convinced that their obstinacy vis-à-vis the Siachen situation has cost and is costing them heavily both in terms of valuable human lives as well as exorbitant amount of money? According to figures quoted in the media, Pakistan is spending approximately Rs15 million per day on maintenance of its forces on Siachen. At Rs 50 million per day, India is spending approximately three and a half times more than what Pakistan is spending. Is this all justifiable, particularly when seen in the background of the abject poverty in both countries? More importantly, the human lives that are being lost and the disabilities that are being caused to the soldiers of both countries by extreme weather conditions should be a matter of immense concern. Whatever has happened at Siachen during the past three decades, and the recent tragedy should be an eye-opener for both India and Pakistan.

M Fazal Elahi,

Islamabad, April 15.