New Delhi: In a goodwill gesture ahead of the Indus Water Commission talks to be held in Lahore a fortnight from now, India on Friday has released two Pakistani teenagers who had been held for the Uri attack.
The two Pakistani nationals, Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khurshid Chaudhry, were released on the completion of investigations by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which found no evidence to suggest their involvement in the attack.
Faisal and Ahsan were initially suspected of being involved in the September 2016 attack which left 19 Indian soldiers dead. India has blamed Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohamed for the assault.
Indian border authorities handed over Faisal and Ahsan to the Pakistan Army at the Wagah-Attari border. They were on Friday received at the Wagah border crossing by their families.
The two youths, who are reported to be class 10 students, were arrested in a joint operation by India’s Border Security Force and the Army at Angoor Post in Uri town a few days after the September 18 Uri attack. They were suspected to have acted as “guides” for the militants.
They were brought to the National Investigation Agency headquarters for interrogation. The NIA last week clarified that the two had run away from home to avoid studies and filed a closure report in the case. The probe agency on Wednesday handed them over to the Indian Army.