Pakistani prisoners of war returning form India on Eid el-Fitr, one of the most festive days in the Moslem calendar, took part in a religious service as soon as they had crossed the border on Sunday (28 October).
CU Sign at Wagah checkpoint "Welcome to Pakistan"
SV Band playing
SV Army officials greets POW's
SCU Governor Mustaf Khar greets POW's
SV Flower petals thrown on POW's
SV POW's receive identity cards
SV More POW's showered with flowers
GV & SVs POW's praying (6 shots)
Initials BB/0107 NL/LB/BB/0125
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Background: Pakistani prisoners of war returning form India on Eid el-Fitr, one of the most festive days in the Moslem calendar, took part in a religious service as soon as they had crossed the border on Sunday (28 October). The 800 returning soldiers and civilians were welcomed at the Wagah border checkpoint by the Governor of the Punjab and members of his Cabinet.
Then all the men went to one side to attend prayers in an impromptu mosque, while the women and children dressed up in their finest clothes special sermon on the heroic role played by the internees during the 21 months of their detention. The congregation joined in prayers for peace and prosperity in Pakistan. The festival of Eid el-Fitr marks the end of the 30 days of Ramadan, during which pious Moslems fast each day from dawn to dusk.
The prisoners of war were being returned under a tripartite agreement between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to repatriate 300,000 people dislodged by the 1971 War. But as the latest batch of 800 were returned on Sunday, there were reports of a possible cutback in the numbers of internees to be released. This followed complaints by Bangladesh to India and the United Nations that Pakistan was "dragging its heels" and failing to keep its side of the bargain. So far, 13,000 Pakistanis have been returned home by India. Another 75,000 are still awaiting releases from North Indian detention camps.