Pakistan military authorities have committed to the release Indian soldier Chandu Chavan, who inadvertently strayed across the border last year, Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said.
“They (Pakistan) have admitted that Chandu Chavan is alive, and that they will soon release him after inquiry, which is nearing completion,” Bhamre said after the launch of second Scorpene class submarine Khanderi, at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in south Mumbai.
“We are trying at the level of DGMO (Director General of Military Operations), to secure his release. So far, the DGMO has spoken to their Pakistan counterpart at least 15 to 20 times,” the minister said.
“The last time such talks took place was two days ago. They (Pakistan) said that the inquiry is getting over and Chandu Chavan will soon be released,” he said.
“Minister of State told me that they were very close to securing Chandu’s release and all the procedures have been completed,” Bhushan added further.
“We were always hopeful of his release… But we are not celebrating as yet,” he said.
Incidentally, Chavan hails from Bhamre’s Lok Sabha constituency.
“I have been in regular touch with his family,” the minister said.
On September 30 last year, Chavan had inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control.
So far, there is no indication of the possible date or the time-frame within which Chavan could be released. Sources in the Indian Foreign Ministry have said that the possible date of the soldiers release is still being worked out.