India, Pakistan exchange list of nationals lodged as prisoners

RSTV Bureau

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India and Pakistan on Sunday exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in their respective jails. The list was exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged on 1 January and 1 July every year.

Indian authorities handed over the list of 249 civilian prisoners and 108 fishermen to the Pakistan authorities.

Pakistan also shared the list of 53 civilian prisoners and 418 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be Indians.

Government has emphasised on the need for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats.

In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release of 9 Indian civilian prisoners and 229 Indian fishermen, who have completed their sentences and whose nationality has been confirmed.

Immediate consular access has also been sought for the remaining prisoners and fishermen to facilitate their early release and repatriation.

In order to take further the understanding reached to address the humanitarian issues, especially with respect to elderly, women and mentally unsound prisoners, India has already shared the details of the reconstituted Joint Judicial Committee and that of the Indian medical experts team to visit Pakistan to meet the mentally unsound prisoners.

Pakistan has also been requested to allow the visit of a group of fishermen representatives to facilitate the repatriation of Indian fishing boats, presently held in Pakistan’s custody, at the earliest.

(With inputs from PTI)