India seeks consular access to 308 nationals in Pak jails | india | Hindustan Times
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India seeks consular access to 308 nationals in Pak jails

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 20:46 IST

India has sought consular access to its 308 nationals lodged in Pakistani jails as Islamabad prepares to set free 240 of its fishermen on Friday.

Of the 308 nationals for whom consular access has been sought, 190 are fishermen and the rest are civilian prisoners.

Identity of 21 Indian civilian prisoners in Pakistan has already been confirmed and they are due for release, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said on Monday.

He said Pakistan will release 240 Indian fishermen, whose nationality has been confirmed, on June 30 in accordance with the understanding reached during the Home Secretary-level talks last month in Islamabad.

At least 30 Pakistani fishermen are at present lodged in Indian jails but they cannot be released, as their nationality has not been proved yet, Sarna said.

On people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, he said the recently launched Thar Express between Khokhrapar in Rajasthan and Munnabao in Pakistan's Sindh Province appeared to have gained popularity with the number of travellers increasing up to four times since February.

While 200 people travelled by the train in February when it was launched, between 700 and 800 people travel by it now, Sarna said.

The total number of people to travel between the two countries during the last five months stood at 1.7 lakh.