An Uninhabitable Icy Wasteland: What Pakistan and India Are Fighting Over

#Politics

Fri, Jun 15th, 2012 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Myra MacDonald of Foreign Policy highlights a war India and Pakistan have been fighting since 1984 over an uninhabitable wasteland of snow and ice, where the weather has claimed more lives than enemy fire.

This is a war that has thrived on superlatives -- the world's coldest, highest battlefield, fought many days' drive from the nearest city. Men posted to Siachen huddle in isolated posts along a jagged 68-mile-long front line, believe in ghosts, go half-mad from the unbroken white, and struggle to eat at altitudes where even walking is a strain. Far more have died from the effects of the weather and the terrain than from enemy fire. They have endured the physical scars of amputated, frostbitten limbs and the mental scars of premature aging, memory loss, and, some say quietly, impotence. "It is madness to be up there," said the officer, who declined to be named, speaking of the suffering, rather than the glory, of the Siachen War.

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