Pakistan assumed that their territory continued
northeast from point NJ9842 to the Karakoram Pass. As a result, both nations claimed the barren heights and the Siachen Glacier.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Pakistan
permitted several mountaineering expeditions to climb the peaks in the Siachen region from the Pakistani side, perhaps in an attempt to reinforce their claim on the area as these expeditions received permits obtained from the Government of Pakistan and in
many cases a liaison officer from the Pakistan Army accompanied the teams.
In 1978, alarmed by these expeditions, India too allowed mountaineering expeditions to the glacier,
approaching from its side. The most notable one was the one launched by Colonel Narinder “Bull” Kumar of the Indian Army, who led an expedition to Teram Kangri, along with medical officer Captain AVS Gupta.
The Indian Air Force provided valuable support to this expedition in 1978 through logistic support and supply of fresh rations. The first air landing on the glacier was carried out on October 6, 1978, when two
casualties were evacuated from the Advance Base Camp in a Chetak helicopter by Sqn Ldr Monga and Flying Officer Manmohan Bahadur.
Contention over the glacier escalated
after these expeditions, with both sides asserting their claims. Notably, when Pakistan gave permission to a Japanese expedition to scale an important peak (Rimo I) in 1984, it further fueled India’s speculation that Pakistan was trying to legitimise