Free Press Journal

’54 soldiers missing in wars believed to be in Pak custody’


Indian Army firingArmy Firing (Pic only for representation)

New Delhi: As many as 54 missing defence personnel of 1965 and 1971 wars are believed to be in custody in Pakistan, government said today. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply in Lok Sabha, said the government has repeatedly been taking up the matter with Pakistan for the release of the missing defence personnel believed to be in Pakistan’s custody.

“However, Pakistan does not acknowledge the presence of any such personnel in its custody,” he said. A delegation of 14 relatives of missing personnel defence personnel also visited 10 jails in Pakistan during June 1-14, 2007. “The delegations, however, could not conclusively confirm the physical presence of any missing defence personnel,” he said.

The Minister said families of these missing defence personnel were given liberalised pensionary and rehabilitation benefits as per extant rules. “Subsequently, payment of service and retirement benefits have been made to the kin of the 38 (including one from BSF) out of the 54 missing defence personnel believed to be in custody in Pakistan, as if they had retired on superannuation, in compliance with judgement dated 23.12.2011 by the High Court of Gujarat,” he said.

In the case of 13 missing defence personnel, dues have been deposited in the High Court of Gujarat due to non-availability of the kin, legal heirs or non establishment of legal heirship of the claimant. Details of 3 missing defence personnel are not known and the High Court has been apprised in this regard, Parrikar said.