Snow caped mountains, freezing temperatures, thin air, deadly crevasses, piercing and screaming blizzards, deadly avalanches and dozens of other glacial features; this is Siachen glacier which is rightly, without any doubt, called the “Roof of the World. The 75 Km long glacier, located in the disputed Kashmir territory, is an epic marvel of nature. Its scenic beauty is beyond perfect description in words.
The impression of this enchanting place is hurt by the fact that it is the highest battlefield in the world, a consequence of Indian adventurism in 1984 through Operation Meghdoot. This action violently stirred peace of the glacier and its whirls are felt till now- 28 years later. The once quiet region has, ever since been inhabited by troops deployed by both, Pakistan and India. In retaliation to the Indian aggression Pakistan had no other reasonable option than to send its troops in the area, as well.
It is said that a Siachin soldier has to combat two adversaries i.e. the enemy forces and poor weather. This is the reality. Numerous casualties are caused on both sides due to hostile weather. Frost bites and pulmonary oedema are commonly seen. Other than that falls into crevasses and avalanches are common occurrences.
At 6 A.M, on 6th April 2012 a tragic event occurred in the Giyari sector of Siachin. An avalanche struck the battalion headquarters of the area, burying 139 Pakistanis including 11 civilian military employs. The calamity is terrible and has deeply saddened the entire country. Not only are the families of the men, hit by the avalanche are grieved, but the whole nation feels the pain and is sorrowed by the tragedy. We must not forget the sacrifice of these men, because the people who forget their heroes, they fade away and no one ever talks about them. History rubs them off its pages!
Being frequently away from ones family is not an easy matter, but soldiers are used to it. They have dedicated their lives to serve the country to the best of their abilities. Whenever the nation calls army for help incase of a natural disaster, it has answered wholeheartedly and enthusiastically helped the fellow countrymen.
At times we see that a certain circle of people find satisfaction in criticizing whatever the army does. In particular, specific segments of media consider it their duty to foster poor sentiments against the army. This attitude needs to be halted, for it is completely unfair.
It is not the right thing to blame the entire organization due to grudges with some of its Generals. Soldiers are great souls who have the tendency to go where no one else wants to go. They find glory by defending their beloved motherland in; scorching deserts, frozen peaks, rocky mountains, thick forests-name anyplace, the defenders are ever vigilant and ready to pay the ultimate cost for safeguarding Pakistan.
Our army’s professional capability is beyond questioning, but at times its reputation has been stained owing to the inept strategies of the decision makers which render the forces unable to act despite of wanting to. An ordinary soldier has nothing to do with policies. All he knows is that he has to sincerely and with sheer devotion protect the country, even if he has to live on the roof of the world for that!