There were scenes of rejoicing on both sides of the India-Pakistan border on Friday (1 December) as released prisoners of war crossed from each direction.
GTV Pakistan border gates being opened
TV Indian gates being opened and first prisoners march across to be received by officers
SV PAN FROM Chiefs of staff to POWs receiving packets of tea
SV POW's marching along road and receiving tea (3 shots)
SV Indian POWs greeted by Chief Minister and others as they leave Pakistan
CU Chief Minister Singh embracing Indian officer
SV Indian officers greet Indian POWs.
SV Indian POWs file past relatives waiting with garlands (3 shots)
SV Indian POWs passing crowd shouting "Long Live India" in vernacular (2 shots)
Initials BS/1510 RW/AW/BB/1458
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Background: There were scenes of rejoicing on both sides of the India-Pakistan border on Friday (1 December) as released prisoners of war crossed from each direction.
The repatriations involved 540 Pakistanis and 617 Indians, all captured during last December's fighting. But the 90,000 prisoners taken by India in the area which is now Bangladesh were not affected by the release agreement.
The Pakistanis were given presents of tea as they left, to be greeted on their own soil by Major-General Q.C. Riaz. The senior officer among the prisoners, Major Riaz Hussain Pervez, received a special ovation. The Indians were welcomed by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Giani Zail Singh.
SYNOPSIS: The moment more than a thousand families have waited for came on Friday, when both India and Pakistan opened their border gates at the post of Wageh. It was the moment when India released more than five hundred Pakistani prisoners, and received back six hundred of its own men.
Senior Pakistani officers, including General Riaz, were at the border to greet the prisoners, who were each presented with a packet of tea as they left India. But later some of the men complained of the conditions in which they'd been kept. They spoke of poor food, and constantly hostile guards.
The returning Indians were greeted by Giani Zail Singh, the Chief Minster of Punjab. The men released on both sides had all been captured during last December's fighting between India and Pakistan. India also captured another ninety thousand men in the area that is now Bangladesh, but they were not affected by the repatriation negotiations which led to Friday's homecomings. Negotiations are now going on over these other prisoners, and the fate of thousands of Bengalis held in Pakistan, but Red Cross officials who are involved say they do not expect much progress just yet.
As the Indians marched back on their own soil and began searching for their own relatives among the crowds, there was a chant of "Long Live Mother India."