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India for release of nationals from Pak jails

Despite repeated requests, Pakistan has not yet granted consular access to the Indian civilian prisoners.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 15:50 IST

India is expected to press for the release of 431 nationals who continue to languish in Pakistani prisons during the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries in New Delhi next week.

Despite repeated requests, Pakistan has not yet granted consular access to the Indian civilian prisoners, which was agreed to during last year's Foreign Secretary-level meeting in Islamabad, Indian officials in Islamabad said.

Notwithstanding the agreement to notify arrests of prisoners within one month and provide consular access within three months, Pakistan has not yet taken any action regarding the Indian prisoners, they said.

Quoting unofficial reports, Indian officials said 271 Indian fishermen and 160 other civilian prisoners languished in Pakistani prisoners.

Neither any notification was issued about their arrests nor requests for consular access was granted, an Indian diplomat said, responding to how the agreement between the two countries over prisoners was being implemented.

At their meeting in September to review the progress during the second round of composite dialogue, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Muhammad Khan had agreed to the specified procedures to alleviate the suffering of prisoners languishing in the jails of the two countries.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 19:13 IST