India, Pak. repatriate two youths who crossed LoC

The Chakkan-Da-Bagh point was opened for 20 minutes to allow the youths to cross into their home territories

India and Pakistan on Friday repatriated two youths, who had “inadvertently crossed the Line of Control” in December last year in Jammu’s Poonch Sector, to their respective territories.

“With the support of the Jammu and Kashmir police and the civil administration, Ali Haider, a 14-year old boy from PoK’s Mirpur, was repatriated to Pakistan via the Poonch-Rawalakot crossing point. The Pakistan authorities also handed over Mohammed Bashir, after staying in Pakistan’s custody for 16 days,” an Army spokesman said.

The spokesman said Haider had “inadvertently” crossed over to India in Poonch district on December 31, 2020. “The boy seemed innocent and was immediately provided with clothing, food and shelter,” the Army said.

On January 3, the Army made a request with the Pakistani authorities to repatriate him “on humanitarian grounds.”

“The Pakistan authorities were also reminded of our earlier request to repatriate an Indian boy, Mohammed Bashir, who had inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan from the Poonch Sector on December 24,” the Army said.

An official said the Chakkan-Da-Bagh crossing point was opened for 20 minutes to allow the two youths to cross into their home territories. “The exchange took place between 12:40-1 p.m.,” officials said.

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