Consular access to Indian prisoners in Pak sought

Consular access to Indian prisoners in Pak sought

India has once again asked Pakistan to grant consular access to Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Yadav, two Indians imprisoned in the neighbouring country.

India and Pakistan on Sunday exchanged the lists of nationals of each country lodged in the jails of the other. The lists were exchanged through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad, in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access between the two countries.

“India remains committed to addressing with Pakistan on priority the humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country. In this context, we await from Pakistan the confirmation of nationality of those in India’s custody, who are otherwise eligible for release and repatriation,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press-release on Sunday.

New Delhi used the opportunity to once again press Islamabad to grant consular access to Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Yadav, the two Indian nationals currently imprisoned in Pakistan for reportedly involved in espionage.

Ansari, 31, who hails from Mumbai, was arrested in Pakistan in 2012, after he illegally entered the country from Afghanistan. He was convicted of espionage by a court in Pakistan and sent to prison for three years.

He was attacked and injured by the inmates of the Peshawar Central Prison in Pakistan at least thrice. New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad in early 2016 that Ansari should be released from the prison in Pakistan and repatriated to India, since his sentence of three years was already over.

The High Commission of India in Islamabad has issued at least 40 note verbales to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Pakistan Government, asking for consular access to Ansari as well as to ensure his security in the prison.

The government of Pakistan,  has not yet granted the High Commission of India in Islamabad consular access to Ansari.

Islamabad in April 2016 announced the arrest of former Indian Navy officer Kul Bhushan Yadav.

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