Pakistan Army returns two Indian teenagers

Pakistan Army returns two Indian teenagers

Mohammad Yunus, 14, and Mohammad Ishtiyak, 15, were reunited with their families in Sabjian area of Poonch district late Saturday, hours after the two were handed over by the Pakistanis.

The teenagers had strayed into Pakistani Kashmir, inadvertently crossing the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

“The boys were debriefed and later handed over to their parents,” a senior military official told IANS here.

Debriefing is a mandatory exercise for people who return from Pakistan even if they stray by mistake to the other side.

It was around 1 p.m. Saturday that the Pakistan Army called for a flag meeting at Chakan da Bagh, on the LoC, in Poonch district.

The meeting was attended by Indian Army officers and Additional Deputy Commissioner (Poonch) Matloob Khan.

Sabjian is one of the frontline areas along the LoC and is also used by militants to infiltrate into India from Pakistan.

The boys reportedly told Indian officials that they were interrogated by the Pakistani Army after they entered Pakistan by mistake April 29.

Yunus and Ishtiyak tried to convince the Pakistanis that they had no intention of crossing the LoC. They said they were grazing cattle near the frontier.

Although fenced, the LoC has areas where the fence gets damaged or buried under snow, leaving no defined lines of the border.

Their parents had complained about the missing teenagers to the police April 29 when they did not return home that evening.