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June 9, 1999
Pak recruiting teens to fight in Kargil
The Pakistan army is now recruiting teenaged boys from the poverty-stricken areas of Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province and some parts of Punjab to send them across the Line of Control into the Kargil region.
Sources say the Indian Army recently intercepted a telephonic conversation between two Pakistani officers, one of whom was insisting that untrained young boys should not be used because they would easily get killed. But the other officer was arguing '' agar mar gaye to marne do, us mein kya hai'' (if they die let them, what is the harm).
The army pays the poor parents of the recruits between Rs 500 to 1000. If a member of any Islamic militant group dies the compensation ranges from 50,000 to 100,000 Pakistani rupees.
There are reports that the force commander of northern areas has been pleading with the army headquarters in Rawalpindi to get an additional amount of Rs 25 million sanctioned from the federal government for his unit.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry Tariq Altaf again claimed in an interview to the British Broadcasting Corporation last night that the three infiltrators whose bodies were handed over to Pakistan by India were killed in Pak-Occupied Kashmir.
But observers here question why Pakistan took exactly one week after they were killed to claim that they met their end in PoK?
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