Pak jawan repatriated with gifts

Pak jawan repatriated with gifts

13 July 2012
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: A 19-year-old Pakistani soldier, who had crossed over to this side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district yesterday, was today repatriated by the Army as a goodwill gesture. There were varying reports on Arif Ali's intrusion. One said that he had fallen in love with a girl in Kirni village, which is located on the Zero line opposite to Pakistani posts while other reports said he might have been pushed into this side for looking at infiltration routes. 'We have repatriated the jawan back to Pakistani authorities as a goodwill gesture today,' Brigade Commander Poonch Brigade, Brig M K Magoo, told reporters in Poonch. The custody of Arif Ali, 19, son of Bashir Ali, a resident of Quetta, Pakistan posted in 25 Frontiers Force was transferred to the Pakistan Army at a flag meeting along the LoC in Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch district at 10 am today. Major Hamid Gul of 653 Mujahid Regiment attended the meeting from Pakistan and Major A Manhas on this side. Ali was given some gifts while being repatriated to Pakistan Army, sources said. The Pakistan Army jawan, who was detained yesterday soon after his intrusion at forward village of Kirni in Poonch sector, was subjected to questioning by Army. Following Rule Book and Ceasefire Agreement of India and Pakistan, Army called for a flag meeting with Pakistan Army officials and repatriated the soldier at Chakan-Da-Bagh after Pakistan authorities confirmed his identity. Army received a nod from Army Headquarters this morning for repatriation of the soldier. Army had yesterday sounded External Affairs Ministry, Defence Ministry and Army Headquarters about detention of Pakistan Army jawan with Rs 13,300 Pakistani currency, two Pakistani SIM cards, a civil identity card and some other items at Kirni, where population has been located ahead of the fencing. During questioning, the soldier claimed that he was mentally disturbed when he crossed over to the Indian side, Brig Magoo said. Ali, who is part of Pakistani Army's 25 Frontier Force (FF), and is posted at Saifullah Post along the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), was arrested in Kirni forward area in Poonch district by Indian troops yesterday. He is a resident of Quetta. In October 2011, as a friendly gesture, Pakistan had allowed an Indian helicopter that had strayed across from Kargil to return to India within four hours. According to one of the account, Ali took leave on the pretext of going home but crossed over, suspecting that parents of the girl, with whom he was in love, may get her married to a relative in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district. Another version was that he had crossed the LoC to seek asylum in India after being fed up with the attitude of his Pakistani seniors. However, troops didn't rule out the possibility of the Army jawan trying to develop infiltration routes on this side of the LoC or handing over SIM cards to Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of the militants. (