For the last few years I have been reading constantly about India's and Pakistan's reactions toward the issue of release of 54 prisoner of war captured during 1971 war.
Funnier part is none of the government is taking it seriously, even the last well documented news was on 2004 .
The blame was well supported by AII POW- MIA internetwork as well as claim by an eminent UN envoy of Pakistan Asma Jehangir.
NEW DELHI, India (AP) - Vipul Purohit was three months old when India and Pakistan last went to war. The plane of Purohit's fighter pilot father was hit inside Pakistani airspace on a chilly December night and he never returned.
The 32-year-old Purohit — along with families of dozens of other airmen, army officers and a navy pilot believed to have been taken prisoner in 1971 — have for three decades asked the governments of India and Pakistan to return their relatives if they are alive, or tell them if they are dead.
Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said during a visit to India last year that there are no Indian prisoners of war in his country's prisons. India's government says at least 54 Indians are there, and has demanded their return. But the relatives say the officials are not doing enough.
"We are fighting two governments," Purohit told The Associated Press in an interview late Wednesday.
"Pakistan has not returned my father. But even when I go to my own foreign ministry to ask about him, I always get such a cold reply," Purohit said after a news conference in New Delhi with several POW relatives.
Purohit grew up doting on pictures of his father, Flight Lt. Manohar Purohit. He now lives in Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, the city from where the pilot took off after midnight on Dec. 9, 1971.
Six days before, combat aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force had attacked nine Indian airfields along the western border and the two countries were at war.
The Pakistani move came after simmering tensions on the eastern frontier, where Indian forces were training and aiding Bangladeshis fighting for independence in what was then East Pakistan.
The two-week war ended on Dec. 17, 1971, but not all POWs were released when a peace agreement was signed the following year.
Across the country, hope had been kindled for dozens of families through fragments of what they consider proof that their beloved are alive: photographs and reports in Pakistani newspapers and Time Magazine, wartime radio broadcasts, and reports from Indian spies released from Pakistani prisons.
For the families, their battle started when the war ended.
"My mother just endlessly wrote letters to the government for years," Purohit said.
The Indian government formally mentioned the presence of 54 POWs in Pakistan only in 1979. In 2000, Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir, now a special U.N. envoy, said that 53 Indian military personnel and 143 Pakistanis, who may include civilians, had been kept as POWs in Indian and Pakistani prisons for almost 30 years.
On some occasions, Pakistan offered prisoners it said were Indians, but Indian officials refused to take them, saying they could not verify their nationality.
Over the decades, the POW issue got sucked into other knotted political and diplomatic problems between India and Pakistan.
There is no movement on the POW issue now, as India and Pakistan have withdrawn their ambassadors and have their troops on war alert along the frontier.
"This is a humanitarian issue," said Shailash Shekhar, a campaigner for the POW families. "Perhaps the POW release could be the first confidence-building step between India and Pakistan."
Now the issue is with both the governement.
Indian government is not doing enough cause it aint sure of the claim, still letters remain pouring from the Pakistani jail. There was a case when a daughter of minister was abducted , govt immediately prompted with the release of dreaded terrorsits in return of her safe release (http://www.subcontinent.com/sapra/research/terrorism/tr_1996_03_001_s.html )...but when it comes to the soldier's relief , govt always keep itself silent, as it fully believes dat there is the oath by indian soldiers to serve their country.. so even if they die in war or in extreme cold in Siachin..govt wont do anything for them..tell me why these people kill themselves for us..and wat we are giving them in return....???? Wat's govt doing for safe return of their own soldier..who followed govt order to go into war..they dint go to pakistan for illegal picnic. So wen they are captured wat is govt doing for their return... why the world's most dreaded secret service files are kept locked or did they ever tried to find out the whether their bretherns really are there or not..I tell u the govt are busy attending their son's marriages or campaigning to win the next election and it is the soldiers responsibilty to die over dere as they have taken the oath to serve and govt is paying them salary ...lolz
And about Pakistan..God save this country..the pak means pure and they are the world's most corrupted beings.they supplied nuclear weapon technology to North Korea and Iran, running terrorist camps in their soil, harbouring Al Qaida and taliban who are making them fool in terms of religion and stupid jihads which ensures stupid peoples of shahidi and jannat killing innocent unarmed peaople with Kalashnikovs... and now they are what ...key partner of US in war over terrorism. ...lolz ...The people who are running terrorist camps in POKs , handling both chemical and biological weapons are now fighting terror..they aren't fighting terror, they are simply killing and crushing the baluchi rebels in the name of Al Qaida , while most of the Al qaidans are given safe protection inside their country..So we cant expect that they will humbly apologise and give back POWs...wehich they have denied for past 36 years straight.
Lets C wat happens.. I m jus clearing out my frustration, but my humble plea is to Pakistani governent is to release those POWs and request to our govt to take suitable measures ensuring their release.
luv n carez Sourish