What is the importance of the Siachen Glacier?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 3rd, 2022

The importance of Siachen Glacier is it acts as a hub for the Shaksgam Valley, Karakoram Pass, and Aksai Chin and is of strategic significance to India, Pakistan, and China. Therefore, retaining Siachen is essential for India to stop entry from Pakistan and China. The LOC between India and Pakistan terminates at point NJ9842, and the South-southwest of the Siachen Glacier is this location.

Importance of Siachen Glacier

  • One of the longest mountain glaciers in the world, located close to the Pakistani-Indian border in Kashmir's Karakoram Range system.
  • It is the source of the Shyok, a tributary of the Indus River system, and the Nubra River.
  • The Indian and Pakistani armies are on the world's highest battleground (around 24,000 feet).
  • Life is challenging on the Siachen glacier, which covers an area of 76 km, due to subzero temperatures that can drop below -60 degrees, avalanche danger that never goes away, glacial crevasses, strong winds, and a variety of potentially fatal altitude-related illnesses.
  • Pakistan and China are divided in the region by the Siachen glacier, which separates central Asia from the Indian subcontinent.
  • By acting as a barrier between Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and China, the Siachin glacier's Saltoro Ridge prohibit the two countries from developing direct military ties in the region.
  • Siachen also functions as a watchtower enabling India to keep a close eye on the Pakistani provinces of Gilgit and Baltistan.
  • In addition to Chinese concerns from Aksai Chin in the east, Pakistan would pose a significant threat to India from the west in Ladakh if it gained the geographic edge in Siachen.
  • India is better positioned to reach an agreement with Pakistan in the future when resolving bilateral territorial disputes due to its control over Saltoro Ride.

Summary:

What is the importance of the Siachen Glacier?

Siachen is strategically significant for India, Pakistan, and China because it is a hub for the Shaksgam Valley, Karakoram Pass, and Aksai Chin. For India to prevent incursion from Pakistan and China, Siachen must be kept. At point NJ9842, the LOC between Pakistan and India ends, and this place is south-southwest of the Siachen Glacier.

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