Release Indians in jails: India to Pakistan
India on Monday demanded the early release of its nationals held in Pakistani prisons, including missing defence personnel, 10 civilians and 124 fishermen, as the two countries exchanged lists of prisoners in each other’s jails in line with an agreement signed in 2008.
The two countries exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody through diplomatic channels simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad. This was done in keeping with the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access, under which such lists are exchanged on January 1 and July 1 every year.
India handed over a list of 256 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen in its custody. Pakistan provided a list of 52 prisoners and 209 fishermen in its custody “who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians”, the external affairs ministry said in a statement. The Indian government called for the “early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats”.
The statement said, “In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 10 Indian civil prisoners and 124 Indian fishermen...whose nationality has been confirmed.”
The Indian side also asked Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to members of medical experts’ team that proposes to visit the neighbouring country to “assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners of unsound mind, lodged in different jails”.
The Indian government also called on Pakistan to organise early visits by the Joint Judicial Committee and a four-member team to Karachi for 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 statement said.