The United Ex-servicemen Front is mulling to move the Supreme Court against the Centre’s lenient attitude in bringing back the 1965 and 1971 prisoners of war (PoWs) rotting in various Pakistani jails.The outfit claimed to have traced the antecedents of a few of the PoWs by establishing contact with their kin, who urged them to pursue the matter with the International Court of Justice (ICJ).They said that as many as 54 defence personnel are languishing in Pakistani jails since December 1971. Out of these 27 were from the Army, 24 from the Air Force, two from the Navy and one from the BSF. The organizations state incharge Capt CS Sidhu (retd) said that they would soon meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to know why the government was hesitant to file a case with the ICJ.Sidhu said that the government cannot save its skin by submitting in the SC that the salary and retirement benefits had been given to the dependents of the POWs.“The Centre had obtained a stay on the SC order of approaching the ICJ stating constraints due to a bilateral agreement with Pakistan based on the 1972 Shimla Agreement.“The government’s prosecutor also submitted that all dues are being forwarded to the next of kin of imprisoned soldiers, but we question them that when it was known and admitted on the floor of the Parliament that 54 personnel were missing, why monetary benefits are being given to the kin of only 29 PoWs,” he said.Col Nishan Singh Randhawa (retd) questioned that when India can release 92,000 Pakistani soldiers in the light of Shimla Agreement then why can’t we force them to release our soldiers through the ICJ?He said the front would hold candle march in various districts and in Amritsar on June 17. “We also plan to hold a protest at the Wagah border in July. We will not let Delhi-Lahore bus or run to lodge our protest against the government’s callous attitude,” he said.
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