India, Pakistan exchange lists of prisoners
Before the meeting, India freed 59 Pakistani fishermen while Pakistan released Indian prisoners.india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 12:44 IST
Almost 500 Pakistanis are being held in Indian jails, the Foreign Ministry said after the two nations exchanged information on their nationals who have been imprisoned in either country.
The lists of prisoners were exchanged under an agreement between officials from the interior ministries of the two countries who met last month in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.
In the meeting in Islamabad, the Pakistani and Indian officials agreed to release by June 30 each other's civilians who have completed their prison terms and whose nationality has been verified and been granted consular access.
Before the meeting, India freed 59 Pakistani fishermen while Pakistan released Indian prisoners.
The Foreign Ministry statement said that India has yet to allow consular access to 169 of the 493 Pakistani being held in Indian prisons.
It was not immediately clear how many Indians were being held in Pakistani jails.
Since 2004, when the two countries began efforts to have friendly ties and try to resolve the Kashmir dispute, they have eased travel restrictions, freed hundreds of each other's prisoners and restored severed transportation links.
Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India but each of them claims the whole of the region. They have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947.