Release prisoners who have completed term: Pakistan-India panel

Members of the committee, who concluded a five-day visit to Pakistan Friday, also recommended that either country's all prisoners in the other country should be provided legal aid at all stages of their cases by the respective government, according to a joint statement.

The committee also suggested that the nationality verification process should be facilitated and all those prisoners who have completed their sentences and whose travel documents are available should be repatriated to their respective countries at the earliest, Xinhua quoted officials as saying.

There are hundreds of prisoners, including fishermen, from either country still languishing in jails in the other country and they usually complain about ill-treatment.

The two countries had formed a joint committee, comprised of former judges, to look into this issue.

The committee recommended humane approach in dealing with the cases of fishermen, women and juvenile prisoners, prisoners terminally ill or suffering from serious illness or physical disability and mentally disabled people, the statement said.

The committee suggested that the next visit to Indian jails by the committee may be scheduled preferably during the second half of June.

During the visit, the Pakistani side shared the lists of Indian fishermen and civilian prisoners.
The committee appreciated the release of 89 fishermen by the Pakistani authorities and one Pakistani fisherman and 44 civil prisoners by the Indian authorities.

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