Siachen, a cold hell, highest battleground on earth. Temperature drops in Siachen to as low as -60 C. Both India and Pakistan are fighting in this area since 1984. Siachen dispute originated from the unsolved issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
India and Pakistan both nations have lost over 2,700 soldiers combined, apart from millions of dollars. The soldiers stationed at these punishing heights have to battle harsh climatic conditions, frostbites, hypothermia, and amnesia to name just a few. In this cold hell, both India and Pakistan have lost more soldiers to natural calamities than to enemy fire. Climate of siachen is harsh, merciless and unforgiving.
Gayari is battalion headquarters of the 6th Northern Light Infantry, located at the altitude of 15,000ft. On 7th April Gayari was hit by an avalanche, an Avalanche which engulfed the whole base and obliterated it. The glacier avalanche broke off at an elevation of around 4560 meters above sea level in a distance of around 1300m from the camp.
Avalanches are nothing new to Siachen. The Gayari avalanche was one of the worst avalanches to have hit the Pakistan Army and claimed the lives of 129 soldiers and 11 civilians. Initial reports indicated that at least 100 Pakistani soldiers, including a colonel and a commander, had been trapped under an estimated 21 meters (70 feet) of snow.
Immediately after the incident Pakistan Army started the rescue operations. Although rescue efforts began shortly after the avalanche, freezing and strenuous conditions made the hope of rescuing any of those trapped practically impossible. Pakistani Army immediately commenced rescue operations using helicopters, heavy machinery, sniffer dogs and with the assistance from international rescuers.
Due to the remoteness and extreme weather conditions, rescue operations were expected to take several days to complete. Nevertheless, official Pakistani military sources remained “hopeful”. After initial efforts on the night of 7–8 April were cut short due to bad weather and darkness.
The COAS of Pakistan Army at that time General Ashfaq Prevez Kiyani stated that “we will dig out each and every one of our lost soldier even if we have to dig up the whole mountain”. As of 8th June 2013, search & rescue teams of the army had recovered 131 dead bodies while search for the remaining nine continued. On 2nd October 2013, Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said that 133 bodies had so far been recovered from Gayari sector while search for the remaining seven continued.
Gayari Incident reminds our nation the nature of sacrifices our soldiers give in order to protect our beloved motherland Pakistan and its freedom. In areas like Siachen it’s not only the enemy forces our soldiers have to fight with but they also have to fight a war with nature in order to just survive in those harsh areas.
We as a Nation will never forget the sacrifices of our soldiers who lost their lives for our sake and got buried under snow in an icy grave.
May Allah bless all the martyrs of Pakistan & bless them with highest rank in Jannah Ameen.