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Pakistan Says It Returned Indian Army Deserter To India

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrolling over a footbridge built over a stream near the Line of Control, a ceasefire line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, in 2013.

Pakistan said on January 21 that it has released an Indian soldier who strayed into Pakistani territory in the disputed Kashmir region.

The soldier, identified as Chandu Babulal Chohan, allegedly deserted his post on India's side of the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir, and crossed into Pakistani-administered territory on September 29.

India said it had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistani territory on the same day in retaliation for a militant raid on an Indian army base that killed 19 soldiers.

Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry said Chohan was handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border on what Islamabad described as "humanitarian grounds and the commitment to ensure peace and tranquility" at the Line of Control.

Tensions across the long-disputed Himalayan boundary reached dangerous levels last September after India blamed Pakistani militants for an assault on an army base assault that killed dozens, including civilians.

Based on reporting by AFP and