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India warned against Siachen trekking expedition

October 11, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Oct 10: Pakistan on Friday warned India that the Siachen trekking expedition could undermine the peace process.

“India should desist from acts that cast shadow on the peace process,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said at the weekly briefing on Friday, reiterating protest on weeklong Siachen trekking expedition.

The trekkers currently undergoing acclimatisation at the Siachen base camp will undertake a long trek from Oct 12 to 19 from the base camp to the Kumar post.

“Pakistan has taken up the matter with India expressing concern over the expedition,” he said.

Similar protests by Pakistan had been ignored by India last year when it opened up the 72-km-long glacier for civilian tourism.

Regarding the reduction of water flow in Chenab River, Mr Sadiq said Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner would inspect the Baglihar dam from Oct 18.

The spokesman said Pakistan could intensify its efforts for getting the controversy resolved.

“We are seriously concerned over significant reduction in flow of water in Chenab River. It has caused extensive damage to our agriculture. The Indian action is a clear violation of Indus Waters Treaty.”

JOINT BORDER PATROLS: No final decision has so far been taken about joint patrolling of the Pakistan-Afghan border.

“Neither any formal proposal was received by the ministry of foreign affairs nor a decision taken in this regard,” Mr Sadiq said in reply to a question.

ZARDARI AND GILANI’S CHINA TRIP: Announcing dates for President Zardari’s visit to China, the spokesman said the president would pay a state visit to China from Oct 14 to 17 at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Prime Minister Gilani will also be visiting China from Oct 23 to 25 to attend the Asia Europe (ASEM) Summit.