62 Indian soldiers in Pak jails

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 9.03.05
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New Delhi, March 9: Veer Zaara, the love story on celluloid of an air force officer ? played by Shahrukh Khan ? wrongly confined in a Pakistani jail for two decades, moved hearts and minds and turned the film with its message of peace into a hit.

But the story of real Indian soldiers in Pakistani jails is still unfinished.

There are 62 Indian soldiers in Pakistani jails and Delhi has sought their release, defence minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Parliament today.

Pakistan has not acknowledged the presence of the prisoners of war in its custody but the matter was raised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the visit of his Pakistan counterpart Shaukat Aziz to New Delhi in November, Mukherjee said in a written reply.

?The government through diplomatic channels has been consistently taking up the issue of early release and repatriation of the Indian prisoners of war,? the minister said.

Of the 62, 54 have been described as ?PoWs?. The other eight are believed to have accidentally crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir or the international boundary. The figure of 54 PoWs has often been raised by an organisation called the Missing Defence Personnel Relatives Association.