PoWs: Morcha raises issue of repatriation

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, january 12

Lok Insaf Morcha Society has raised the issue of repatriation of Indian Prisoners of War (POW), who were detained during the 1971 War and still languishing in various jails of Pakistan.

Society president Lakhwinder Singh in a communique to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that five decades have passed since the occurrence of the war but no efforts were being made to repatriate the Indian POWs in Pakistan. He sought that all POWs aged above 70 years must be released on humanitarian grounds and the government must initiate action in this regard.

He said that years ago reports had suggested that 176 POWs were in prisons of Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Rai, Mianwali, Adiala Jail (Rawalpindi), Multan, Bahawalpur, Karachi, Sialkot and others. Later, the number came down to 70.

He claimed that in response to a reply in the Parliament of 1976 the then External Affairs Minister had mentioned 54 names of POWs. Later, the then Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had also accepted the presence of 49 POWs, he said.

He mentioned that recently the Indian Parliament confirmed the presence of 83 Indian POWs in Pakistan jails. He claimed that the list did not contain the names of missing Indians soldiers like Balwinder Singh of 10th Sikh Regiment, Dharampal Singh of fourth Sikh Regiment, Bir Singh of 15th Punjab Regiment and others. So, he inferred that the actual number of POWs might be more.

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