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Indo-Pak wars: 54 missing soldiers believed to be in Pakistan, says Manohar Parikkar

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

As India prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war with Pakistan, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that 54 defence personnel missing during 1965 and 1971 wars were believed to be in Pakistan custody.

“Fifty-four missing defence personnel of the 1965 and 1971 wars are believed to be in the custody in Pakistan. The (central) government has repeatedly been asking the Pakistan government for the release of the missing defence personnel,” Parrikar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“However, Pakistan does not acknowledge the presence of any such personnel in its custody,” he said.

“A delegation of 14 relatives of missing defence personnel also visited 10 jails in Pakistan from June 1-14, 2007. The delegation, however, could not conclusively confirm the physical presence of any missing defence personnel,” he added.

The minister said that the families of these missing defence personnel were given liberalized pensionary and rehabilitation benefits as per extant rules.

Subsequently, payment of service and retirement benefits have been made to the next of kin of the 38 (including one from Border Security Force) out of 54 missing defence personnel, as if they had retired on superannuation, in compliance with the judgement dated December 23, 2011 of the Gujarat High Court.

“In case of 13 missing defence personnel, dues have been deposited in the high court due to the non-availability of next of kin/legal heirs or non-establishment of legal heirship of the claimant,” Parrikar said.

“Details of three missing defence personnel are not known and the high court has been apprised in this regard,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Parikkar asks why no auditor probes garbage management projects

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Panaji: The defense ministry projects are probed by central government auditors but not a single inquiry is conducted into garbage management projects, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday.

“Garbage is big business. No one wants to check where the money spent on garbage goes, not even the Comptroller and Auditor General. If you do not know, I will tell you…

“They inspect our defense projects, but there is not a single report by the CAG on garbage projects because no accountant will hold his nose and go to Sonsodo and Patto (both garbage treatment sites in Goa),” he said while hinting at the large-scale mismanagement in such projects.

Parrikar, a former Goa chief minister, was speaking at a function chaired by Nitin Gadkari, union minister for road transport, national highways and shipping, who launched infrastructure projects worth Rs.3,500 crore here.

The minister said garbage could not be wished away, adding the issue had to be tackled if the aims of ‘Swachh Bharat’ were to be achieved. (IANS)

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