“As a part of the normalization process/confidence-building measures, the governments of India and Pakistan are urged to establish a Siachen peace park to protect and restore the spectular landscapes, which are home to so many endangered species, including the snow leopard.”`
THE PATH TO PEACE
The idea of Siachen peace park (SPP) has come a long way among mountaineers and conservationists. The IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (mountains), under the chairmanship of Larry Hamilton, has an informal working group on the SSP
In June 2001, the Himalayan club, the mountaineering Foundation and the Doon School Old Boy’s society, submitted an appeal to prime minister of India just before the summit meeting in Agra with president Musharraf. Nothing came of it.
The question has not been discussed by the Indian parliament, or officially by any government organization, neither in India nor in Pakistan. However, recently, Bittu Sahgal, Editor of sanctuary Asia reported that the Indian Defense Minister had been shown on NDTV News standing at Siachen and telling the interviewer that the “blood feud” that has caused so many deaths in Siachen should end and that the area should be dedicated to binding the countries of Asia.
Siachen should be completely demilitarized and declared a transboundary peace park. The park should be contiguous with the Central Karakoram and Khunjerab National parks in Pakistan. Armies on both the side, along with the state pollution Control Boards, must begin framing and implementing an ecologically sound garbage disposal policy to restore this unique habitat.
Around 169 transboundary parks have been declared around the world and have been declared around the world and have been shown to be successful even along disputed boundaries.
Once the troops are withdrawn, a joint surveillance plan can be worked out together and a clean-up begun.. the glacier would be dedicated to conservation, and both countries would benefit if they were to jointly promote sustainable tourism by regulating treks and expeditions to Siachen.
Wild roses bloom again, the ibex will return and the elusive snow leopard will occasionally reveal itself.