Free Press Journal

Brother of soldier held captive by Pakistan, writes letter to Sartaj Aziz


Pakistani national security adviser Sartaj Aziz speaks at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington on January 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM

Mumbai: Pinning high hopes on neighbouring nation’s top foreign policy official Sartaj Aziz for the early release of Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan, held captive by Pakistan Army, the latter’s elder brother Bhushan has prepared a one-page letter written in English to hand it over to the visiting diplomat.

Immediately after India struck terror launch pads along Line of Control (LoC) in ‘surgical strike’ in September, Pakistani media announced that one 22-year-old Indian soldier Chandu has been captured by its forces. Pakistan claimed that Chandu had been captured by its army at Jhandroot, west of Mankote.

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However, Indian Army has refuted the allegation saying Chandu ‘inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistan side of LoC with weapons.

“We are worried about him and we hope from you to do something about this issue. We have great hopes from you. Please give back hapiness to my family by releasing him. If you try to brings him back then we are greatly thankful to you and your country (SIC),” Bhushan writes in the letter, which will be handed over to Aziz in Amritsar.

Aziz, chief foreign affairs advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is expected to attend sixth Heart of Asia meet in Amritsar where top diplomats of 40 countries would attend the conference being held during December 3-4.

Though there has been no official meet on the card with his Indian counterpart, yet Aziz’s Amritsar visit hints at possible detente amid cross-border tension that escalated after 19 Indian soldiers were gunned down by heavily armed terrorists in Kashmir’s Uri district in mid September.

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New Delhi held Islamabad responsible for the killings of soldiers that soured relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours with expulsion of diplomats.

On November 10, Bhushan has also written two-page letter in Hindi and sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by speed post. In this letter, Bhushan, who is also a defence personnel, has requested Modi to expedite the process to bring Chandu back to India. “I, being an Indian soldier, promise that I would always perform my duty with full dedication and keep the pride of Indian tricolour intact as ever,” wrote Bhushan in his letter to Modi, whose response is still awaited.

The maternal grandmother of Chandu could not bear the shocking news of him being captured by Pakistani forces and had cardiac arrest on the same day he was detained by Pakistan. Chandu’s relatives have vowed not to scatter the ashes of his grandmother until he comes back India safe.