India hands over captured Pakistani soldier

Friday, 06 September 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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SRINIGAR: The Indian Army Friday freed a Pakistani soldier who was captured after straying across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Owais Mustafa of the 647 Mujahideen Battalion of the Pakistan Army was handed over to Pakistani Rangers in the Suchetgarh sector, some 30 km southwest of here, an Indian Army spokesman said.
Mustafa, who was captured after he strayed into Indian territory across the LoC in the Rajouri sector, was released following a request from the Pakistan Army's director general of military operations.

The Indian Army spokesman did not say when Mustafa had been captured.
"A request for his repatriation was made by Pakistan's director general of military operations to his Indian counterpart during a telephonic conversation on June 4," he said.
"Consequently a decision to repatriate Mustafa was taken on humanitarian grounds and also as a gesture of goodwill."

Mustafa, wearing the traditional Pakistani dress of 'salwar kameez', was all smiles when he was handed over to the Pakistani Rangers at a flag meeting held on the frontier. He did not respond to questions from reporters.

Source: IANS
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