New Delhi: The defence secretaries of India and Pakistan will be meeting in Islamabad on Monday for 13th round of talks on the Siachen glacier. The word from New Delhi is 'don't expect any breakthrough'. Pakistan has been pushing hard for withdrawal from the Glacier and could retaliate by rejecting a settlement on the Sir Creek issue.
India has made it clear that it doesn't share Pakistan's urgency in wanting to withdraw from Siachen.
India's point of view reflects the advantage it enjoys dominating the Saltoro Ridge from where it looks down upon Pakistan positions. Sitting at Saltoro Ridge India feels secure that no Pakistani can intrude into the Nubra Valley with the aim of capturing Leh, capital of Ladakh.
But Pakistan needs to prioritise resources for fighting insurgents in the west, with India refusing to budge Pakistan tried diplomatic hardball.
It reworked the bilateral schedule to ensure Siachen comes up for discussion first, followed by Sir Creek a few days later. The word going out is that there will be no deal on Siachen which means no deal on demarcating Sir Creek, which is widely accepted as only requiring signature.
The talks it would seem are headed nowhere, but it could bring new life to the into debate that whether Siachen can be defended with far less men than now, whether land and space based surveillance devices could be just as effective in ensuring Pakistan doesn't attempt a Siachen grab on the sly, at some point.