This blog was originally published in The News International.
Based near the Siachen Glacier, a Pakistan army base camp located at Gayari sector met misfortune when a deathly avalanche struck the camp and buried over 100 soldiers. The Pakistan army has started a massive search and rescue operation in the ice-graves of Siachin where not only the access is difficult but the real challenge lies in fighting the harsh weather. According to the military sources, the search and rescue operation would take rather longer, depending upon the weather conditions.
Siachen glacier is famous for not a very good reason. After the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947, army of the both countries occupied the glacier and started fighting over the world’s highest battlefield. Located at the height up to 22,000 feet, both the
Pakistan and India claims the Siachen glacier, including the area hit by the avalanche buried more than 100 Pakistani soldiers.
However, it would be a strange question for many to ask and know whether it is the combat between the two countries which is killing soldiers over the massive glacier or something else. Doesn’t seem its the other enemy that consuming lives of soldiers from both side of the border?
The incident can be rightly linked to global warming. Pakistan army stated that they were not expecting the avalanche at all. They said the area where the base camp was located is though prone to avalanches, such avalanches usually hit the forward base, where very less, somewhere around soldiers (15 or 20) are based. The incident of avalanche in the region of Gayari sector was purely unexpected.
With this, I hope both the armies would realize that melting of glaciers and sudden breakage of big chunks of glaciers is occurring at faster rate than the past due to increase in temperature. It is not only the battle between the two armies now but also a battle with climate change that we all have to fight with for survivor. Why then spare all those precious lives for an apparently no good reason/
According to the climate scientists, the temperature of the earth has increased 0.8 Degree Celsius during the past 100 years due to global carbon pollution, whereas average temperature increase in Pakistan is even more than this global average. Any bells ringing?