No info on defence men in Pak prisons, Govt tells SC

Last Updated 25 August 2015, 19:19 IST

The government has no information on the 54 missing defence personnel suspected to have been held as prisoners in Pakistan after 1965 and 1971 wars with that country.

It also told Supreme Court that it cannot raise the issue of killing soldiers at the International Court of Justice without Pakistan’s consent.

It also told the apex court that it has no records of the 54 missing personnel since their service records, unit and family are unknown.

Of the 54, 27 belonged to the Army, 24 are from the Air Force, two from the Navy and one from the Border Security Force. Of those defence personnel, 48 went missing during the 1971 war and three in the 1965 fighting.

The Ministry of Defence’s affidavit in the court came after the court asked it to provide details on the personnel languishing in Pakistan jails.

The government said Pakistan did not acknowledge their custody when it raised the issue of release and repatriation of the 54 personnel with that country, assuring the court that it would continue to raise the issue with Pakistan in all appropriate forums.

The MoD also referred to the Ministry of External Affairs’ response to a separate PIL filed by the father of Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia, reportedly tortured in custody and killed by Pakistan.

In that case, the MEA had said it cannot take the issue of killing soldiers in captivity to the ICJ without Pakistan’s consent.

(Published 25 August 2015, 19:19 IST)

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