Indian Army Chopper strays into Pakistan amid Bad Weather

Pakistan released an Indian army helicopter just hours after it strayed across the tense border between the two countries on Sunday, underscoring a desire by the old rivals to avoid any crisis as they try to improve ties.

The Pakistani military had forced the Indian helicopter to land and detained four Indian army officials after it intruded into its territory in Olding sector in northern Skardu region near the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

But it was released after senior military officials from both sides spoke on a hotline.

“The helicopter and four officers on board returned around5.30 p.m. (1230 GMT) after a contact between the director-general military operations of the two countries, “Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said.

The Indian defence ministry said the helicopter had returned to Kargil in Indian-ruled Kashmir. “The issue has been resolved,” the ministry spokesman, Sitanshu Kar, said.

Indian officials said the helicopter strayed into Pakistani territory because of bad weather.

The latest incident took place near Kargil in Indian Kashmir where the two old adversaries came dangerously close to their fourth war in 1999.

However, relations between the two uneasy neighbors have improved after they resumed a peace process this year which was suspended following attacks by Pakistan-based Islamist militants on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.

According to security analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi “The swift release of the helicopter shows both countries do not want to derail the peace process. Otherwise it could have turned into a major crisis,”

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