Twenty-eight Pakistani prisoners, who were lodged in different jails in Jammu and Kashmir, have been taken to Amritsar for providing them consular access, the state government said on Thursday.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Sagar told the Assembly that the Centre had on March 2 sent a request for bringing eligible Pakistani prisoners who have not been provided counsular access to central Jail Amritsar on March 23. However, the date was re-fixed for March 26.
He was clarifying news reports appearing in a section of local press alleging that 28 Pakistan prisoners were being released after opposition members raised the issue.
Sagar said that it was in this context that list of 28 Pak prisoners was prepared for providing consular access to them at central Jail, Amritsar today.
He said that out of 28 prisoners, 10 are undertrials, including five terrorists while 17 are undergoing sentence. One of the prisoners has been recommended for deportation after observing all requisite legal formalities.
The Minister said it is in line with a new agreement regarding counsular access signed between India and Pakistan in 2008.
Under the agreement, counsular access is to be provided to Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails to enable the Pakistani authorities to establish the status of their prisoners so as to facilitate their repatriation to Pakistan.
Opposition members of BJP, JKNPP and JSM seeking government's response following which Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone asked the government to give a report on the issue to the house raised the issue during question hour.
On another issue raised by PDP member Nizam-ud-Din Bhat regarding separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah, Sagar said that the government has to provide proper security, protection and healthcare to an important leader like Shah.