Pakistan returns Indian soldier as ‘goodwill gesture’

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: As a gesture of goodwill, Pakistan handed over an Indian army soldier, who had “willfully” entered Pakistani territory in September last year, to Indian authorities on Saturday afternoon through Wagah border.

In a statement, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chohan was stationed in Indian Occupied Kashmir and he deserted his post at the Line of Control (LoC) “due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders.”

The ISPR said that the Indian soldier surrendered himself to Pakistan army after he “willfully” crossed the LoC on September 29 last year, the same day when India claimed to have carried out “Surgical Strikes” on militants in Pakistani-administered Kashmir region.

“As a gesture of goodwill and in continuation of our efforts to maintain peace and tranquility along LoC and WB (Working Boundary), Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chohan has been convinced to return to his own country and will be handed over to Indian authorities at Wahga Border on humanitarian grounds,” further said the ISPR statement released earlier.

Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chohan
Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chohan

Later, Pakistan handed over Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chohan to Indian authorities at 02:30 pm (PST) through Wagah border.

The decision of the government of Pakistan to return the Indian soldier was based on humanitarian grounds and the commitment to ensure peace and tranquility at the LoC and the Working Boundary.

“Despite Indian belligerence, Pakistan believes in peaceful neighbourhood and rejects all actions aimed at undermining regional peace and security,” the officials said.

Meanwhile, according to Indian media, the 22-year-old Chandu Babulal Chohan is from 37 Rashtriya Rifles and he mistakenly crossed the border hours after alleged Indian surgical strikes.

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