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May 29, 2012

US officials to visit Arunachal Pradesh to find remains of WWII pilots

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar): External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin has said that officials of the Obama administration have requested permission to visit Arunachal Pradesh to search for the remains of American pilots killed during the Second World War. In a interview with Asian News International, Akbaruddin said the government would deal with the issue in a humanitarian manner. “First of all, there is no such request of the U.S. Defence Secretary wanting to visit Arunachal Pradesh. I think what you are referring to is a request by the U.S. that in the northeast (India), they perhaps would like to visit some places where there are remains, perhaps, or this is what they feel that there are remains of American pilots who were involved in World War II,” Akbaruddin. “This is not a new request, we have had similar requests several years ago, and at that stage, we did permit some U.S. officials to visit there. They did not find anything at that time and they feel that perhaps they have some further information that may lead to this (recovery of the remains),” he added. “This is a humanitarian issue. It has been dealt as a humanitarian issue not by us but by several of our other neighbours. We do not see it as an issue at all. We need to respond to it in a humanitarian manner,” Akbaruddin said here. In the past too, the American officials had attempted to recover the remains of its war heroes from various sites in the northeastern Indian state, but without success. Over 500 US warplanes were believed to have gone missing while flying in the hilly and remote frontier areas of China , India and Burma during the Second World War. According to an estimate, at least 400 US warplanes went missing in Arunachal Pradesh alone. Certain analysts believe the remains of the pilots may have been frozen in the glaciers in the region over the years.

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