27 September, 2020


It is a bold experiment, and the effects have been dramatic. Every little problem is getting a compassionate response from men trained to kill.

Take a four-wheel-drive car from Leh, and head out into the most stunning landscape on earth. Climb up to Khardung-La, the world's highest motorable road at 18,380 feet, and descend into the Nubra Valley. Drive on through the planet's highest desert over which loom the ferocious crags of the Ladakh range, like the paws of a monstrous feline beast.Follow the Shyoke river through desolate rocky flatlands where nothing has ever lived, down into Diskit's sand dunes, rolling 12,000 feet above sea level. Past the brigade headquarters at Partappur, with the Siachen glacier somewhere high up there on the right, over the Chalunka bridge, where the Shyoke is in spate, and on a barren piece of land that has turned into an island, a horse walks around, starving to death. The river moves on into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to meet the Indus, but we halt a few km from the Line of Control. A mountain trail leads up from the asphalt road to Tyakshi village in the Turtuk sub-sector.

Over Tyakshi tower mountain peaks on which nest Pakistani gunposts, hiding under the skyline, watching us, and...


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