Gayari: Three More Martyrs Recovered

RAWALPINDI: Bodies of three more Shaheed (martyrs) soldiers were recovered from Gayari sector of Siachen on Sunday bringing the total number of bodies recovered so far to 33.

According to a spokesman of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) here, identity of the bodies was under process.

It may be mentioned here that 139 soldiers, including some civilians of 6 Northern Light Infantry Battalion came under a huge snow slide early Saturday morning (April 7) in Gayari sector near Skardu.

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Senators Visit Families of Gayari Shuhada

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production along with other senators, visited the families of Gayari Shuhada Lieutenant Colonel Tanvir Ul Hassan, Commanding Officer 6 Northern Light Infantry and Naik Ansar Mehmood at Chakwal on Friday. He laid wreath and offered fatheh at the Grave.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production along with other senators offering fathah at the residence of Gayari Shaheed Lieutenant Colonel Tanvir Ul Hassan at Chakwal.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed paid rich tributes to all shuhada of Gayari and pledged his support.  So far a total of 13 bodies of shaheed soldiers have been recovered. Meanwhile search and clearance operation at Gayari is making a smooth headway.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production along with other senators offering fathah at the residence of Gayari Shaheed Naik Ansar Mehmood at Chakwal.

All possible resources including over 300 troops, 48 Engineers plants and five dewatering pumps are working round the clock at the site.
Snow melting vehicle have also been employed for clearance operation.

No breakthrough in Pakistan, India Siachen talks

ISLAMABAD – Staying glued to their respective positions, Pakistan and India have agreed to continue dialogue process for the resolution of Siachen and all other ‘outstanding’ issues and hold discussions at the relevant platforms.

The two-day secretary-level talks between the defence secretaries of both the countries saw progress on strategic cooperation for troops’ withdrawal from the world’s highest militarised region. The deliberations, to be followed by the issuance of a joint statement today (Tuesday), would be taken up at the foreign ministers meeting likely next month and the expected defence ministers-level discussions.

An eight-member Indian delegation led by the Indian Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma arrived in Islamabad on Sunday on a three-day visit to participate in the 13th round of secretary-level talks, according to defence ministry. Secretary Defence Nargis Sethi headed Pakistani side. Senior Indian defence ministry officials Shankar Aggarwal and Deepak Anurag are also part of the Indian delegation, according to sources.

“The preliminary discussions were held in a very pleasant and cordial atmosphere. Both sides explained their respective stances on Siachen issue-a joint statement after the concluding session will be issued in this regard,” a defence ministry statement said.

According to official sources, the joint statement would be a suggestive document urging both the sides; India and Pakistan, for the settlement of outstanding issues but it would not contain any recommendations. The document would not specify rest of the unresolved issues between India and Pakistan other than Siachen (Kashmir and Sir Creek)

Reportedly, the draft recommendations for the resolution of Siachen, Sir Creek and Kashmir issues would be prepared during the concluding session of Pak-India foreign ministers meeting in the coming July. During the Monday’s deliberations, Pakistani delegation is reported to have called for the resolution of Siachen dispute in the light of 1989 Pak-India agreement on Siachen and a follow up agreement signed three years later by both states, in 1992. The Indian side is said to have favoured further discussions on phase-wise troops withdrawal from Siachen and proportional troops pullout from the valley by both the countries-a reported policy that envisages early troops evacuation of base posts and eviction of forward posts at later stages.

“There is a realisation among both the sides that confrontation would lead to very negative implications that hinder economic and social development. Peace is the ultimate solution to bring prosperity in the region. Pakistan and India need to keep peace measures intact so as to eradicate misgivings and move on. Cooperation is the key to success,” Federal Minister for Defence Syed Naveed Qamar told TheNation.

He said the joint statement on the two-day deliberations would be incorporated in the foreign ministers and defence ministers-level talks. To a query, the minister said, his meeting with the Indian Defence Minister AK Anthony was expected soon but the schedule and venue were not finalised as yet. “The foreign ministers meeting will be another step towards the settlement of contentious issues. The defence ministers meeting would follow it.”

Earlier, according to a press release, Indian delegation also called on the Defence Minister Syed Naveed Qamar. “Matters of bilateral interests were discussed in the meeting, the minister expressed that it was in the interest of both India and Pakistan to seek the amicable resolution of all the outstanding issues, including Siachen as it would tremendously contribute towards the peace and prosperity of South Asian region,” it said.

In a demonstration of flexibility in its otherwise toughened stance on Siachen issue, Pakistan’s military command had called for the resolution of Siachen issue through demilitarisation. The development followed Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s visit to Gayari in April after an avalanche had wiped out a Pakistan Army battalion there. General Kayani had urged for troops withdrawal by both the sides for ‘peaceful coexistence.

Gayari Sector: Body of Lt Col Tanvir ul Hassan Recovered

After colossal efforts of two months brave and courageous soldiers of Pakistan Army rescued dead the body Lt Col Tanveer ul Hassan, Commanding Officer of Six Northern Light Infantry Battalion. Earlier too, the dead bodies of six soldiers including Maj Zaka ul Haq have been recovered by the troops participating in the relief and rescued operation at Gayari sector of Siachen.

The incident occurred at about an altitude of 16,000 feet that is located 180 miles northeast of Skardu, the capital of Baltistan. The rescue operation is underway, troops with sniffer dogs, aided by helicopters, are recklessly trying to find the soldiers in the deep snow after the avalanche engulfed the camp in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. At present heavy machines which include Dumpers, Dozers, Excavators and Loaders are working at the search site.

According to ISPR a 450 meters long access track has been developed and improved by adding sub grade to improve traction for wheeled plant equipment on the avalanche to access the priority points. The work on both main access tracks has been carried out to increase the total length to 1.5 kilometers.

The weather continues to be harsh and unfriendly, posing operational and administrative difficulties for both men and machines busy in the rescue operation. However, the weather hazards and colossal work at hand have not been able to flinch resolve of man busy in the rescue efforts.
COAS of Pakistan Army has already said that rescue operation will continue till the recovery of last shaheed. The army has also declared the buried soldiers as martyred.

Siachen: 2 More Bodies Found, Identified

SKARDU: Two more bodies of martyred soldiers were found at Gayari sector of Siachen on Tuesday, bringing the total number of bodies recovered so far to six. The martyrs were identified as Sipahi Mohammad Akbar and Sipahi Mohammad Ali.

Earlier, the body of an army official, Major Zaka-ul-Haq was also recovered along with other martyrs.

It may be mentioned that 139 soldiers, including some civilians of 6 Northern Light Infantry Battalion, were buried under a huge snow slide on April 7 in Gayari sector near Skardu.

The Pakistan Army had declared all the victims of Gayari as ‘Shuhada’ (martyrs). Aspects related to socio-religious dimensions / implications, requirements to initiate the process of documentation, and reduction of the sufferings of the bereaved families made the Army to take such a step.

Major Zaka Ul Haq’s Body Recovered From Gayari, Siachen

The body of one more martyr of Gayari sector, Siachen has been recovered thus raising the number to four. According to the statement issued by the ISPR, the body of army official has been identified as Major Zaka Ul Haq.

It may be noted here that the rescue operation continues to recover the bodies of martyrs, who were trapped under an avalanche in Gayari sector on April 07. The Pakistan Army has declared all the victims of Gayari as ‘Shuhada’ (martyrs).

New Indian COAS: General Bikram Singh Assumes Charge as India’s 25th COAS

General Bikram Singh assumes charge as the Chief of Army Staff on May 31, 2012.  He becomes the 25th chief of the world’s second-largest army.

He was commissioned on March 31, 1972, into the Sikh Light Infantry (SIKHLI) Regiment. His colleagues remember him as a bright cadet at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), where he held the appointment of Battalion Cadet Adjutant (BCA).

The affable cadet, known as ‘Bikki’ to his friends, topped the Young Officer’s course at the Infantry School and was adjudged the ‘Best Young Officer.’ He was also awarded the prestigious ‘Commando Dagger’ for being the best commando along with ‘Best in Tactics’ trophy.

It was during his tenure as an instructor at the Commando Wing of the Infantry School that General Singh met the woman he would marry. Then a young Captain, he met, Surjeet Kaur – popularly known as ‘Bubbles’ in army circles – at a family wedding. “It indeed was love at first sight,” the General recalled.  “Within a week, things were arranged and we got engaged. However, I was not happy with the marriage being fixed after six months. So, I called her up from Belgaum and told her to be prepared for marriage within a month. Of course, this required convincing parents and family members on both sides.” Bubbles joined him at the Commando Wing of the Infantry School within the stated time-frame.

“During various demonstrations that used to be organised for the public, I ensured that Bubbles was present to see and appreciate our commando skills and techniques,” he shared.
“Bikki’s friends ensured that for nearly a month-and-half, I didn’t have to cook any meal after I joined him. Either we were invited to a friend’s house or they would send us meals at home,” says his wife.  They have two sons.

After the ‘Higher Command Course’, he served his first tenure in the Military Operations (MO) Directorate. The tenure, as a Director, coincided with the Kargil war and he was assigned to brief the media on the daily progress of the conflict. Later, he was also made responsible for writing the official version of the war history.

He went on to serve four more important tenures at Army HQ which included one additional tenure in the MO Directorate as the Deputy Director General, thereafter, two tenures in the Perspective Planning Directorate, initially as the Deputy Director General of Perspective Planning (Strategy) and later, as the head of the Army’s ‘Think Tank’ as the Additional Director General (the appointment now has since been upgraded to the post of Director General). He would later return to Army HQ as a Lieutenant General to serve as the Director General Staff Duties (DGSD) that facilitates the overall functioning of various branches of Army HQ, and serves as an interface with other government agencies besides looking at the Indian Army’s training teams abroad and UN peacekeeping operations.

In between the ‘Staff’ roles, Gen Bikram Singh went on to command several other operational field formations. These include command of a Rashtriya Rifles Sector in South Kashmir, an Infantry Division in J&K and the prestigious 15 Corps at Srinagar. His tenure later as the Army Commander of Eastern Command was also marked by significant improvements in both the conventional and sub-conventional war-fighting arenas.

As a Brigadier, he was selected to attend the US Army War College, Pennsylvania, where besides excelling in academics he also won the International Toastmaster’s award in public speaking.

His international forays with peace-keeping missions include two assignments with the United Nations in Central America (ONUCA and ONUSAL) and as the Deputy Force Commander and GOC of Eastern Division in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Colleagues remember him for being a ‘soldier’s soldier’ for spending time and working hard with his troops on the ground.

Gifted with a razor-sharp memory for details, General Singh is known to often surprise old friends – even those he has not met in decades – with references to their family members and memories of time spent together.

The army chief as a young boy studied at Punjab Public School, Nabha. An avid sportsman, cricket, athletics and hockey were his favourite games in school. Singing and painting were his other talents that also fetched him awards in school. “Classical songs and ghazals are my favourites,” he reveals.

As a young student, the chief had considered becoming a doctor. He was an exceptional student of Zoology and Biology. But the wars of 1962 and 1965 motivated him to join the NDA in 1968. When asked whether he ever regrets the choice made, Gen Bikram says, “If I were ever to be born again, I would only join the Indian army.

via NDTV