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Monday, July 22, 2024

308 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails

There are a total of 417 Pakistanis in Indian jails, 343 of whom are civilian prisoners and 74 fishermen

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ISLAMABAD, July 1 (PTI): Pakistan on Saturday handed over a list of 308 Indian prisoners, including 42 civil and 266 fishermen, lodged in its jails to the High Commission of India here as part of a bilateral agreement.

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The step was taken in consistence with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access between the two countries, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

The FO said that “the Government of Pakistan today handed over a list of 308 Indian prisoners in Pakistan (42 civilian prisoners and 266 fishermen) to the High Commission of India in Islamabad.”

It further said that the Government of India handed over the list of Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails to the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi.

According to the list, there are a total of 417 Pakistanis in Indian jails, 343 of whom are civilian prisoners and 74 fishermen.

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Islamabad urged New Delhi to release and repatriate all those Pakistani civilian prisoners and fishermen, who have completed their respective sentences and their national status stands confirmed.

Pakistan and India regularly arrest fishermen for violating the maritime boundary, which is poorly marked at some points.

India also requested Pakistan to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indians and those believed to be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, pending their release and repatriation, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement in New Delhi.

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

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“In this context, India has urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 62 believed to be Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation from Pakistan,” the MEA said.

“As a result of sustained efforts by the government, 2,559 Indian fishermen and 63 Indian civilian prisoners have been repatriated from Pakistan since 2014,” it said.

This includes 398 Indian fishermen and five Indian civilian prisoners who were repatriated from Pakistan this year, the MEA said.

Pakistan and India exchange the lists of prisoners in each other’s custody on 1st January and 1st July, every year under the agreement.

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