Leading human rights activist Ansar Burney on Wednesday urged the Indian government to take steps for the early release of two Pakistani boys who mistakenly entered its territory and were being held by Rajasthan police.
The Ansar Burney Trust International has taken up the issue of Azhar Ansari, 17, and his cousin Zohaib Ansari, 10, with India's ministries of home affairs and external affairs for their early release, said a statement from the NGO.
Burney, the former caretaker human rights minister, who was instrumental in the release of Kashmir Singh, a death row prisoner in a Pakistani jail for 35 years, said he had also personally contacted Indian authorities for the release of the boys, who had run away from home after an argument with their parents.
The Ansar Burney Trust said Rajasthan police had confirmed that "nothing incriminating has been found against the two boys" who were caught by the Border Security Force after they crossed over into India last week.
"Their only wrongdoing was that they had crossed the border into India illegally by digging the earth under the barbed wire fence which divides India and Pakistan at the Munabao border and sneaked into Barmer in India," the statement said.
The Trust said it had been "assured by authorities that the two boys (are) likely to be sent back to Pakistan after completion of certain formalities".