By Abhijit Prashar-
CHANDIGARH: Efforts to bring back Sepoy Jaspal Singh home after 41 years of languishing in captivity in various jails in Pakistan and Oman have seemingly borne fruit with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) recently directing the Foreign Secretary to look into the matter with urgency.
Sepoy Jaspal Singh of 15-Punjab Regiment was captured by the Pakistani Army at Hussainiwala near Ferozepur border along with four more soldiers on December 4, 1971. He is learnt to have been detained in a Pakistani prison for five to six years and then transferred to Masira Island prison in Oman, where he is currently lodged.
The case was brought to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s notice by National Commission for Minorities member Dr Ajaib Singh and a reply to the request for repatriation has recently been sent by External Affairs Minister’s office joint secretary Dr KV Jacob.
The news of this development has rekindled hope in the eyes of Jaspal’s wife, Baljit Kaur. She said, “Till now I have lived the life of a widow and my sons as orphans. We have been running from pillar to
post trying to get someone to help us ever since we were informed that my husband was still alive. All our earlier efforts had come to naught as everyone we approached seemed to be helpless.”
She said, “However, the news of the PMO intervening in the matter after Dr Ajaib Singh took up the issue with them and directed concerned officials to look into the matter with urgency is welcome
news and we hope and pray that this initiative would bear fruit.”