203 Indians in Pakistan jails: Govt

203 Indians in Pakistan jails: Govt

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in written reply, told the Senate or upper house of parliament that 920 Pakistani nationals, including 770 civilians and 132 fishermen, are currently being held in Indian jails.

Eighteen missing defence personnel are also among the Pakistanis detained in India, he told the Senate in a written reply during question hour. The total number of Indians in Pakistan's custody is 203, including 63 civilians and 140 fishermen, the reply said.

Pakistani authorities recently freed 442 Indian fishermen who were being held in jails in Karachi even after they had completed their prison terms. The authorities acted after two NGOs filed a case in the Supreme Court seeking the release of the Indians.

He further said in his written reply that whenever the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi receives information about the arrest of any Pakistani national, it takes up the case with Indian authorities and seeks consular access to alleviate the problems of such prisoners.

Replying to queries, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan said authorities had been unable to trace the whereabouts of people who were unaccounted for during the two wars with India in 1965 and 1971.

Indian authorities had not confirmed that the 18 missing defence personnel were in their custody and their remains too had not been traced, he said. Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek urged the Foreign Ministry to take up the issue of the Pakistani prisoners with Indian authorities.

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