Some of the 338 Pakistani prisoners held by India and released to mark the end of the Muslim Fast of Ramadan were flown home from Delhi on Tuesday (November 7).
Some of the 338 Pakistani prisoners held by India and released to mark the end of the Muslim Fast of Ramadan were flown home from Delhi on Tuesday (November 7). The group, one hundred women and children, were sent home in a chartered Red Cross aircraft - only 24 hours after Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 'deplored' India's holding of 85,000 Pakistani soldiers and civilians in what he called 'violation of all canons of humane conduct'. The same day, a Pakistani Government spokesman said the detention of 600 of them, wounded Pakistani soldiers, was in contravention of the Geneva Convention. The spokesman also claimed that several Pakistani Prisoners of war in India had been 'fired on' in October, and that 18 had died and several were injured.
Pakistan repatriated all Indian civilians interned after the December 1971 war between the two nations after the Simla peace agreement earlier this year.
According to the Indian government, the 338 released internees - the remainder of which were to be flown home within days after the hundred women and children - were being freed with the consent of the Bangla Desh Government.
The 85,000 internees were capture in Bangla Desh - the former easter sector of Pakistan - and were therefore the joint responsibility of the Bangla Desh Government, said an Indian Ministry of Defence spokesman.
SYNOPSIS: One hundred Pakistani women and children were flown home from India on Tuesday after spending eleven months in prisoner-of-war camps. They'd been captured in Bangla Desh - the former eastern sector of Pakistan - after India and Pakistan went to war last December over Bangla Desh's claim to independence. Their release - and the release of over two hundred other prisoners of war due to be flown home in the following days - was to mark the ending of Ramadan, a Muslim month of fasting.
The internees were part of the eighty-five-thousand Pakistani prisoners being held by India. Only the day before, Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto criticised India's holding of the prisoners. It was a violation of all canons of humane conduct, he said. Pakistan repatriated all Indian civilian after the Simla agreement earlier this year.
The Indian Government, which said it released the few hundred internees with the consent of the Bangla Desh Government, said the remainder being held were also the joint responsibility of the Bangla Desh Government.