Quick end to LoC breach by copter
- Pak frees Indian soldiers after hotline request
Oct. 23: Four Indian soldiers were detained in Pakistan this afternoon after their helicopter mistakenly crossed the Line of Control, but they returned to India within hours following a top-level military-to-military understanding.
Indias Director-General of Military Operations had spoken to his counterpart over a hotline and sought the release of the chopper and the soldiers: a lieutenant colonel, two majors and a junior commissioned officer.
The Cheetah helicopter was forced to land at the military base in Skardu, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), around 1.20pm after it flew into Pakistani airspace. Sometime after Islamabad agreed to release the soldiers, apparently having interrogated them, the chopper landed in Kargil at 5.55pm.
We are relieved that our officers and helicopter are back in India. We greatly appreciate the manner in which Pakistan worked with us in resolving the matter, foreign ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said.
This was one of the swiftest military-to-military friendly exchanges between the two countries. The militaries have cooperated during natural disasters, such as the Kashmir earthquake of 2005 and the cloudburst in Ladakh earlier this year.