Islamabad: Ahead of its key talks with India on the Siachen issue, Pakistan has claimed that the biggest hurdle in resolving the military standoff on the world's highest battlefield are the armies of the two countries.
    
Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who was the Defence Minister till Saturday and has now been given the water and power portfolio in a minor Cabinet reshuffle, said India and Pakistan both stand to benefit from resolving the Siachen issue.
   
Both countries stood to gain nothing from the standoff on Siachen and the matter only served to satiate egos, he claimed during an interview with BBC Urdu.
    
He said the only way for India and Pakistan to coexist was to sit at the table and discuss the Siachen issue.
    
The Pakistani minister claimed that the biggest hurdle in resolving the military standoff on the Siachen glacier are the armies of Pakistan and India.
   
Senior Indian and Pakistani officials are set to hold talks on the Siachen issue in Islamabad on June 11 against the backdrop of renewed calls from the Pakistani civil and military leadership for the demilitarisation of the world's highest battlefield.
   
In response to a question, Mukhtar claimed Siachen was Pakistani territory and Pakistan had "responded" when India claimed the glacier.
    
"We think we can come to an agreement. India wants to talk on the Sir Creek issue first, we want to talk about Siachen first – the same issue of egos," he claimed.
   
"I think (Pakistan army chief Gen) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani understands this issue better than all of us and will help reach a decision when the time comes."

(Agencies)

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