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سوموار، 9 اپریل، 2012

Heart-rending tragedy on Siachen


 The devestating news of an avalanche in the Northern Areas, at the battalion headquarters at goma. which left 124 army personnel and 11 civilians feared dead, came to the nation as not just a painful shock, but also as a reminder of the great sacrifices made our brave soldies, in their service of the motherland.
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 Heart weeps over this colossally doleful Siachen tragedy. Heart-rending indeed could only be the distressful plight of 125 brave army officers and jawans and their 11 civilian mates, lying buried under tons of snow after their base camp was struck by a calamitous avalanche. As the military operations are going on in full swing for their rescue, one fervently prays for their survival. Yet one knows not who would survive and how many would perish, such an enormous is this catastrophe.
But this is a national tragedy all the same, which the people would surely mourn unforgettably. With all its heart, the nation stands with their kith and kin in this hour of their grievous distress, hoping for the best for their loved ones trapped in the mountainous mounds of snow so haplessly. They were there in such a hostile terrain for this nation to live in honour and dignity.
And this should put to shame those foreign-funded civil society groups, and sections of palmed-off commentariat and chattering classes that have made denigration of our military such a their fond trade. Hospitable or inhospitable a terrain, a state or a non-state enemy, it is the military officers and jawans who lay their lives on the line for the nation to live in security, peace and tranquility. Some 5,000 army and paramilitary personnel have laid down their precious lives in fighting out the thuggish terrorism monsters in Swat, Malakand, and Bajaur, South Waziristan, Mohmand, Orakzai and Khyber tribal agencies. Many more thousands have lost their limbs to live disabled lives.
Yet these compulsive denigrators of the military are loath to recognise these tremendous sacrifices of the Pakistani military officers and jawans for the sake of the nation's wellbeing. Not even are they ever any appreciative of the swift and compassionate response of the military in coming to the rescue of their civilian compatriots struck devastatingly by natural calamities like flash floods, disastrous earthquakes and freak rainstorms. They remain riveted, even with no rhyme or reason, to vilifying the military for every fault afflicting the nation.

Of course, the military is not flawless. It does suffer many an infirmity, which it needs to address imperatively for augmenting its operational efficacy and defence preparedness. But for the adventurism of a few praetorian generals, it is decidedly a mischievous errand to tar the entire military apparatus with the black paint. Even when the military rulers are in saddle, almost the whole of the military remains largely deployed on its defence duties along the borders and in the field while the rest stays put in barracks. And if in defence and foreign policies the military has a role, then who else is to give the security inputs for the formulation of these policies? The patwaris and tehsildars?
Indeed, over these times the politicos, for their own intrinsic shortcomings and foibles, and the palmed-off gentry in civil society, media and chattering classes, because of their donors' agendas, have made the military a punching bag so shockingly that not a word of compassion has flowed out from their quarters over this Siachen tragedy. But who cares? The entire nation grieves at this catastrophe of our brave soldiers and their civilian mates, feelingly and dejectedly.
And perhaps their saga may come as a sobering effect to the Indian military hawks opposing the demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier so stubbornly. Since nature knows of no distinctions, to be struck by the avalanche could have been the Indian base. Admittedly, the world's highest battlefield, the Siachen has exacted more casualties from the harsh weather conditions than from fighting. Frostbites and other ailments have claimed more lives and limbs than bullets and bombs. The intransigent Indian military commanders must understand what strategic import could a region hold and of what avail would be the retention of some high peaks or certain air force facilities on a glacier where even normal life is impossible to live.
They must give up their obstinacy and let the almost-done deal between the two countries for withdrawal of their forces from there come into effect. The Siachen must demilitarise to the mutual good of the two countries, though no lesser to the good of the two militaries.
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Thank You For Reading.

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