Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the Siachen Glacier on August 12 during his visit to Leh district of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. His predecessor Manmohan Singh had visited the world's highest battlefield in 2005 and expressed his wish to convert the area into a mountain of peace. The Prime Minister is expected to visit the Siachen Glacier on Tuesday during his visit to Kargil and Leh districts of Ladakh where he has to inaugurate power projects, Army sources said.
Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag will also be present during the visit with the Prime Minister, they said. The Prime Minister is expected to interact with the troops deployed there. Around 3,000 soldiers have been deployed on the glacier where sub-zero temperatures drop to even minus 60 degrees in winters. Majority of the posts are located at over 16,000 feet and the highest of them is the Bana post at around 22,000 feet.
Since 1984, India has lost more than 860 lives and majority of them have been due to climatic conditions and challenging terrain of the 76 km long glacier. Pakistan has been talking about demilitarising the Glacier as it is in disadvantageous position there and has even refused to authenticate the ground positions. The Army Chiefs over the years have frequently voiced their opposition to demilitarising the area, terming it as a strategic location.