400 Indians in Pakistani prisons

400 Indians in Pakistani prisons

Around 400 Indians are in Pakistani prisons, of whom 90 have completed their sentences and are entitled to be released and sent home, a top official said Thursday.

According to external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, of the 400 Indians, 214 are civilian prisoners while 186 are fishermen.

He said the 90 who have completed their terms "should be released because according to the India-Pakistan bilateral agreement all prisoners who have completed their sentence should be released within one month".

"So, we would hope that this is abided by". "My understanding is that earlier this year - in some cases in March and in most other cases in July - those 90 prisoners had completed their sentence terms and, therefore, they are entitled to return India," he said.

"And we look forward to Pakistan releasing them, and welcoming them back home."
A Pakistani judicial commission is in India on a reciprocal visit.

The spokesperson said the Pakistani panel would be submitting a report. "And this report will feature issues relating to Pakistani prisoners in Indian prisons. Also, my understanding is that as a follow-up to this there would be another visit later on, early in the first half of next year, of Indian members to Pakistan to follow up on the situation of Indian prisoners in Pakistan," he said.

He described the visits by the judicial panels to the other country as a "normal feature between India and Pakistan. Despite the difficulties and differences that we have had, we view issues relating to prisoners as humanitarian issues."

The Pakistan judicial panel has visited three jails in India - in Amritsar, Jaipur and Delhi's Tihar jail, to interact with Pakistani prisoners.

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