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Two Kashmiri youth handed over to Indian authorities near LoC

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ISLAMABAD:Pakistan on Saturday repatriated two Kashmiri youth who had separately strayed into the territory of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from the Line of Control (LoC) more than two years ago, officials said.The goodwill gesture on the part of Pakistan was in sharp contrast to the Thursday’s incident when a Pakistani woman who had inadvertently crossed the Working Boundary was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel near Sialkot.
Repatriation of 23-year old Bilal Ahmed and 24-year old Arfaz Yousuf was held at Kaman Bridge at the Chakothi-Uri crossing point, some 60 kilometres South of Muzaffarabad, in the presence of civilian and military officials from both sides.Ahmed, a resident of Gurez village, and Yousuf, a resident of Kupwara in India-held Kashmir had crossed the LoC “by mistake” in July 2015 and January 2014 from Nikru and Chilyana sectors, respectively, according to officials.They were stuck up in AJK and their return became possible after completion of necessary procedural requirements in this regard, the officials said.
The officials assembled in the middle of Kaman Bridge to carry out repatriation process, including their medical examination by doctors from both sides. The whole process took more than an hour.
Pakistani officials had also brought gifts, such as clothes, sweaters, bags and shoes, apart from two baskets of sweets, which were given to them on the occasion.Ahmed’s brother Mohammad Javed and Yousuf’s father Mohammad Yousuf, who were accompanying Indian officials, hugged and kissed them, amid tearful eyes and visible feelings of gratitude.“The moment they saw each other on the bridge they broke down,” said Basharat Gardezi, additional SHO in Chinari police station. “It was a moving scene.” Such gestures are not uncommon on the Pakistani side, he added.In April last year, Pakistani authorities had repatriated a woman namely Shakeela Bano from Chakothi-Uri crossing point, two years after she had strayed into the AJK territory allegedly in a fit of rage.Prior to that in July 2015, two teenaged Kashmiri boys – 18-year-old Imtiaz and 17-year-old Saleem – were repatriated from Chilyana-Titwal crossing point, a week after they had inadvertently strayed into the AJK territory.In December 2014, Nasreen Bibi, 12, was repatriated from Chakothi-Uri crossing point, three days after she had strayed into the AJK territory.However, only two days ago (February 23), when mentally ill Rasheeda Bibi, 53, hailing from Sialkot district’s Diawara village, crossed the Working Boundary after losing her way, she was shot dead by the India’s Border Security Force soldiers.
Her body was later handed over by the Indian border authorities to her family in the presence of Pakistan Rangers officials.

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