The Indian delegation will be led by the Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar. The other members of the team include Special Secretary RK Mathur, Indian Army director general military ops Lt Gen AM Verma and India’s Surveyor General S Subha Rao.
The Pakistan delegation [an all General unit!] will be led by Defence Secretary Lt Gen (Retd.) Syed Ather Ali. The other members include Maj Gen Ashfaq Nadeem Ahmed, Maj Gen Munwar Ahmed Solehri and Maj Gen (Retd.) Mir Haider Ali Khan.
The Defence Secretary level talks between the two countries to resolve the Siachen issue date back to 1985. The decision to hold talks followed discussions between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Pakistan President Gen Zia-ul-Haq in Oman and New Delhi. The talks became a part of the composite dialogue with Pakistan, on all issues including Kashmir, from the eighth round of talks in August 2004 in New Delhi.
The Siachen issue is historical in nature. The Cease Fire Line (CFL) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir were delineated by the Karachi Agreement 1949 and the Shimla Agreement 1972 respectively up to point NJ 9842. The area beyond this point has remained un-delineated. This has led to different interpretations. The Karachi Agreement describes the CFL up to point NJ 9842 and mentions that ‘it thereafter lies northwards towards the glaciers’. Similarly the Shimla Agreement is also silent on the delineation beyond NJ 9842. Pakistan claims that the line joins NJ 9842 with the Karakoram Pass, which is North-West of NJ 9842. The Indian position is that the line runs towards the glaciers along the watersheds formed by the Saltoro Range as per the internationally accepted principle of border delineation.