ISLAMABAD, May 29: The Pakistan military after hectic efforts lasted for 52 consecutive days in search of about 138 Pakistani army personnel and their attendants, trapped on April 7, in Gayari sector of Siachen Glacier after a massive snow wall fell upon their compound, on Tuesday declared them as ‘martyrs’.
The Siachen glacier is the highest battle war zone between India and Pakistan.
Since April, 7, desperate efforts with coordination of foreign teams were put in place to reach to avalanche covered compound, housing 138 Pakistani army personnel who were trapped at an altitude of around 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) after a massive avalanche hit their compound, smothering an area of one square kilometer.
Search teams were making frantic efforts for recovery of trapped personnel at least six identified points of the site, around 4,000 meters in the mountains.
According to Pakistan army, more than 450 rescuers have been putting their efforts together to locate the trapped bodies, after experts termed their survival a distant dream.
During last two days, bodies of three soldiers were retrieved under the glacier.
Pakistan military on Tuesday said that nature and magnitude of the calamity was suggestive of no probability of recovering any person alive.
“In this back drop, religious leaders of prominence from all sects and factions were consulted. Aspects related to socio religious dimensions / implications, requirements to initiate the process of documentation, and reduction of the sufferings of the bereaved families have been evaluated in detail. From this deliberate exercise, it has been decided to declare the remaining brave soldiers as "shuhada (martyrs).”
The military also made the announcement with mixed feelings of pride, grief and above all unflinching resolve to continue all out efforts to recover the bodies of all shuhada.