"Captain," I said, "could you ask Mehboob what it feels like to stand watch on a night like this?"
Yasin asked, and the reply came floating down.
"Mehboob says that a night such as this makes him feel good because he can see forever, and this helps him to perform his duty of observing the enemy. And he also says that the moonlight gives him a feeling of much refreshness."
"Yes. Much refreshness."
Before ducking back inside, I took a long look. Somewhere out there, roughly 14 miles to the northeast, lay the Siachen—the heart of the conflict. To reach it, we would have to retrace our steps back to Islamabad; fly to Dubai, then to New Delhi, and then to Ladakh, the most remote and northern part of Kashmir; and from there drive up to the glacier—a loop of more than 3,000 miles to get to a place I could almost see from where I stood. All because of a four-inch line on a map.
BEFORE LEAVING PAKISTAN, I heard quite a few remarks about Narinder "Bull" Kumar, a legendary Indian military man and mountaineer, and none of them were complimentary. "Colonel Kumar is the man who started all this," Major Tahir had fumed. "I have no wish to meet him—that bastard."