Heightened tensions between three Asian nuclear powers

Myra MacDonald reports on the growing threat from border clashes on India, Pakistan and China’s high mountain frontiers

The World Today Updated 23 February 2021 Published 5 February 2021 6 minute READ

Myra MacDonald

Was a correspondent for Reuters for nearly 30 years

Wherever you travel in India and Pakistan, you will often see people playing an impromptu game of cricket on a stray patch of flat land. But I had not expected to see a game in progress on the world’s coldest, highest battlefield.

I was researching the Siachen war, fought between the two South Asian rivals over the glaciated wastelands of the Karakoram that lie at the point where India, Pakistan and China meet.

Our tiny helicopter landed at Gyari, where the Pakistan Army had set up a battalion headquarters on a snow-covered plateau at 13,000ft and barricaded by huge granite walls. At the height of the fighting, Gyari had been heavily shelled by Indian artillery. But shortly before my visit the two countries had declared a ceasefire.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.