India, Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), July 2:-India and Pakistan on Monday exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their respective custody as per provision of a 2008 agreement.

The lists of prisoners were exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the External Affairs Ministry said.

“India handed over lists of 256 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen in India’s custody to Pakistan. Pakistan has shared lists of 209 fishermen and 52 prisoners in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians,” the MEA said.

The list provided by Pakistan did not figure Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian prisoner facing death row in Pakistan, official sources said.

Under the provisions of the 2008 agreement, India and Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their respective custody on January 1 and July 1 every year.

The MEA said India has called for an 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 and repatriation of 10 Indian civil prisoners and 124 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed,” it said.

India has also asked Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the members of the medical experts team proposed to visit Pakistan to assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners of unsound mind who are lodged in different jails in that country, the MEA said.

It also asked Pakistan to arrange for an early visit of the joint judicial committee to the country and organise an early visit of a four-member team to Karachi in connection with the release and repatriation of 22 Indian fishing boats.

“Immediate consular access has also been sought for the remaining prisoners and fishermen with the request to facilitate their earliest release and repatriation,” the MEA said.

It said India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.

“In this context, India has also asked Pakistan to expedite its response in the case of 88 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, who have completed their sentences and await repatriation for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan,” the MEA said.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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