Indian Army

Siachen Sell-Out For Nobel Peace Prize

This write-up is based on the chapter ‘Fight for Institutional Integrity’ from the amazing book by Shiv Kunal Verma – ‘Life of an Industani’. Some of the excerpts from the chapter have also been used in this write-up.

You read it right, The UPA govt had planned to sell out Siachen Glacier to Pakistan, under US pressure.

It started in 2005 when Lt Gen J.J. Singh was the western army commander. There were rumors that he may be superceded & SGPC had written to then PM, imploring him to be the next COAS. In return, Lt Gen JJ Singh had to do something in return. He was asked to withdraw the Indian army from Siachen or leg up a certain brigadier, when the time comes, he will be there to deal and the backroom warfare continued…

Warriors of 8 Jak LI after Op Meghdoot
From Shiv Kunal Verma’s autobiography

This meant that Gen V.K. Singh would be the chief for two yrs and not for the definitive three yrs. He needed to be sorted out in any way possible, so the birthdate issue was cropped up, then Sekhar Gupta (infamously known as Sekhar Coupta) started writing hit jobs on him as the editor of Indian Express. He went to the limit of alleging Gen VK of a coup.

24th COAS,Gen VK Singh

While all this was going on, some coursemates of Gen Bikram Singh had got together and met Subramaniam Swamy and Maj MGD, formerly from 17 Madras and subsequently switched to the IAS, had planned to go all guns blazing to fight for CONSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY.

Milestone on the way to Siachen Base Camp

Finally, Maj MGD went to the Supreme court & filed a petition. Surprisingly one day, they found out that the Supreme court had issued a writ on three issues-

1. A pending issue on J&K HC that alleged a fake encounter had been staged by Gen Bikram Singh which led to the loss of lives of civilians as well as a Colonel from Bihar regiment.

2. A similar incident on the LoC.

3. Another incident for which the Indian army was actually conducting DNA tests in Meerut.

Very soon, the three issues became fifteen, which included frivolous issues like his daughters being married to Pakistani nationals.

Then Justice Lodha introduced a written note from Director IB, that said ‘these allegations have no substance’.

Thus, the petition was then dismissed.

Later, the petitioners found that the list of charges and the so-called handwritten vindication by the IB director had been inserted in the last hour or so.

PIL Link, PIL against Lt-Gen Bikram Singh


Sometime on October 12, Shiv Kunal Verma’s phone rang, on the other side was Lt Gen Prakash Katoch, who had served in SF, been wounded in the Op Bluestar & had commanded Siachen Brigade during the Kargil war.

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch PVSM UYSM AVSM SC (retd.)

According to Gen Katoch, ever since the US had moved into Afghanistan, they were desperate to give Pakistani generals something in return. What could be better than Siachen Glacier?

US president George W Bush with Gen Musharraf, president of Pakistan

As far back as 2005, Indian PM had been fooled, that if India vacated the glacier, the Americans would use their clout & ensure him a NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

The story went like this, a retired brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (since then the founding director of CLAWS), was selected by the PMO and sent to a think-tank meet-up in Ottawa, which was a US-based think-tank, the ‘Atlantic Council’. A Pakistani brigadier was sent from Pakistan and the two worked out the blueprint for a withdrawal. The PM knew that a vast majority of veterans would be up in arms if they got word of the plan but when the COAS in 2005 had put himself in the bag, it allowed PMO to move forward.

Over the next half-decade, the groundwork was done,by September 2011, the PMO was ready. India had nominated 11 members, all retired personnel, of whom seven were from armed forces for Track 2 talks with Pakistan. On the Indian side, Lt Gen BS Pawar was the chair, and Air Chief Marshal ‘Bundles’ Tyagi was the highest-ranking official. There were two more Lt Generals, a vice admiral & two brigadiers, two more ambassadors, and Col Ajai Shukla, who was listed as a ‘journalist’.

Col Ajai Shukla

Some info on Col Shukla – He was married to Maneka Gandhi’s sister and was the brother-in-law of Suman Dubey and Arun Shourie. He is quite vocal in defending PLA, a recent example of it is the Tawang clash on Dec 9. We have also seen him parroting CCP lines during Galwan clash. He had also floated a theory that the Pak army & ISI carried out the Pulwama attack to get Modi re-elected.

To check more of his so called expertise – https://www.theyouth.in/2020/07/01/the-serial-lies-of-defence-expert-ajai-shukla-are-out-in-the-open/?amp=1

The Pakistani delegation was led by Gen Karamat, former Pak army chief. There had been a series of meetings in different countries after meeting in Dubai for the 1st time, then the delegations met again in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Palo Alto, California, and finally in Lahore.

Former Pak army chief,Gen Karamat

Time was running out & according to Gen Katoch, the PMO was on the verge of accepting the Track 2 recommendations. While all this was happening, our media was either sleeping or journalists like Coupta were busy writing absurd stuff on Gen VK. Sekhar Gupta even called the petitioners as ‘communal’ since all the personalities involved here were Sikhs. Journalistic freedom you know!!!

Military Historian, Shiv Kunal Verma

Shiv Kunal Verma then found Anil Tyagi, the editor of ‘G-Files’ & who wrote an article, which was published on 12th November 2012.

Link to that article –https://www.gfilesindia.com/siachen-handout-bartering-indias-security/

After this article was published, Air Marshal Tyagi, a member of Track 2 met Shiv Kunal Verma. When Mr. Shiv enquired about the Air Marshal, who we really are facing on the glacier, he replied “Pakistan, of course”.

To which Mr. Shiv replied, “No sir… I do not agree with you. The three or four choke points on the Saltoro Ridge are held by us and Pakistan has a zero presence on the glacier. Your real threat, if you vacate the area even after demarcating the boundary which in that area is pretty tough, is also from China …”

Hearing China, the Air Marshal was quite taken aback as he wasn’t aware of anything.

But the damage had been done and any amount of calls from the PMO could not reverse the situation. Then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, issued a statement saying not a square inch of Indian territory, be it Sir Creek or Siachen, would be compromised. Seeing how things were shaping up, General Bikram Singh also issued a statement saying there was no question of a compromise, and the hot potato was then duly dropped by the PMO.

WHAT IF SIACHEN HAD BEEN SOLD-OUT?

If we had ‘demilitarized’ & pulled troops out of Siachen, then Pak & China would have got complete freedom to move wherever they wanted and we wouldn’t even get to know about it, for we would have no eyes on the ground. Once they had come into this area, the whole of Nubra Valley would have become vulnerable – for the enemy could have outflanked Turtok & come straight down.

Captain Shiva Chauhan, the first woman officer operationally deployed at Siachen 

Not only this but also facing eastwards from Siachen, there are routes available through the Rimo group of glaciers to cut through to the Karakoram Pass. The recent ingress by the Chinese into the Eastern Ladakh area underlines the fact that with improving technology, there is no area in the region that cannot be accessed.

Coming back to Ajai Shukla, he had not only been drafted into the team, but he was also the PMO’s man in Track 2 team. Brought in by Pankaj Pashouri, his erstwhile colleague in NDTV, who was the press advisor to the PM. Shukla had been promised the chairmanship of Prashar Bharti if he could implement Siachen Plan.

THIS IS HOW OUR SIACHEN GLACIER WAS SAVED.

Sekhar Gupta’s article link – The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt

From Gen VK Singh’s biography ‘Courage and Conviction ‘

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Abinash Baijayanti

A civilian who loves anything and everything related to Military and an avid reader of Military History . Always open for suggestions

4 Comments

  1. The Congress and communal politics has done enough harm to the republic of India. Armed forces have been reduced to the bystanders and their power and scope of work curbed to a large extent. Even while having the military might, armed forces is mere puppet to the governance in power and the bureaucracy. It’s high time to realise and remove the interference of bureaucracy and the political bosses into the functioning of the armed forces.

  2. The political parties be it anyone are birds of same flock. The security of country depends upon Army,IAF,IN only.
    The MOD must be manned by combined team of these armed forces and civ must be removed. The Chief of Staff committee should head the MOD. Matters pertaining to national security must be discussed by COSC directly with President and PM ,both in attendance.
    Otherwise BJP and Congress will keep fooling nation for greed of winning election.

    1. But sir, India doesn’t have a presidential form of democracy. Everything starts and ends with the elected head of the state,PM. Yes,the powers of the babus in MoD should be reduced but totally restricting them is not a good idea. Moreover,we have had chiefs who were into arms dealing,can we really trust them. Our security forces come under the state machinery ,unlike that of Pakistan where the army has a state.
      Anyways sir,agree to disagree

  3. Those who gave their blood over centuries of age now feel cheated. The reason being ‘Vote politics’ have at many times created a Gulf between Nationalhood and ‘Gadhi (power) ‘. The progeny of these Nationalists are at receiving end every second, every minute and looked upon as they are responsible for all the ills facing the Nation. PS Ghushoo Sambyal

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