Issue Net Edition | Date : 01 Feb , 2014
Held after 14 years, the meeting between the Indian Army and Pakistani Army Director Generals of Military Operations at Wagah on 24 December 2013 naturally made media headlines. The discussions were reportedly related mostly to the Line of Control (LoC). The last such meeting was held in 1999 after the Kargil conflict. As per media reports, the atmosphere was cordial, positive and constructive. The Indian side reportedly took a forceful stand against the killing and beheading of our soldiers and repeated border violations that had soured relations. Both DGsMO are said have displayed commitment to maintain the sanctity and ceasefire on the LoC and agreed to re-energize the existing mechanisms; making the hotline between the two DGsMO more effective and result oriented, informing each other if any innocent civilian inadvertently crosses the LoC ensuring his / her early return etc. The bit about making the hotline between the two DGsMO “more effective” was somewhat intriguing because the periodicity of the two DGsMO to talk is fixed and more importantly, the provision of additional contact over and above the fixed periodicity on any occurrence (s) warranting activation of this hotline too exists – with complete conversation recorded on both ends.
How can you trust Pakistan … more importantly with 40 anti-India terrorist camps running full swing in Pakistan with full military support…
A week after the above meeting, on 1st January 2014, was the bi-annual exchange of prisoners’ lists between India and Pakistan under the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan handed over a list of 281 Indian prisoners (49 civilian and 232 fishermen) in Pakistan while our MEA also handed over the list of Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails (257 civilian and 139 fishermen). But what has always been denied by Pakistan is the 54 Indian Armed Forces personnel believed to be in Pakistani jails; 29 from the Army (including 15 officers) and 25 pilots from the Air Force and Navy – all officers (24 Air Force and one Naval pilot). Though these personnel were reported missing in action, denial by Pakistan that none out of the 54 are in Pakistani custody exposes the lies and treachery. This despite the fact that 93,000 Pakistani military Prisoners of War (POW) were returned by India post the 1971 Indo-Pak War. All this despite clear evidence of Indian POWs in Pakistani jails like: Major AK Suri, 5 ASSAM – his name was announced in Punjab Durbar program of Radio Lahore on 6th – 7th January 1972. His father received handwritten notes from Major Suri dated 7th December 1974 and 14, 15, 16 June 1975 – last three from Karachi disclosing that there were there were 20 more Indian officers detained on charges of spying. Indian national Mukhtiar Singh, repatriated from Pakistan on 5th July, 1988, confirmed Major Ashok Suri was in Kot Lakhpat jail at that time; Flight Lieutenant V Tambay, 32 Squadron Air Force - Pakistan Observer, dated December 5, 1971 carried news ex Rawalpindi datelined December 4, 1971, that five Indian pilots had been captured alive.