India, Pakistan exchange lists of prisoners

India, Pakistan exchange lists of prisoners

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India and Pakistan on Wednesday exchanged details of civilian prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other's jails.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India handed over to Pakistan lists of 267 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen in its custody.

Pakistan has handed over a list of 282 Indian prisoners -- 55 civilians and 227 fishermen -- lodged in the country's jail to the High Commission of India as part of a bilateral agreement.

The lists were exchanged in keeping with the provisions of a 2008 agreement under which such lists of prisoners are shared on January 1 and July 1 every year.

The Indian government called for an early release and repatriation of Indian civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats from Pakistan's custody.

In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of four Indian civilian prisoners and 126 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan, the MEA said.

In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to 14 believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and 100 Indian fishermen who are in Pakistan's custody.

The Indian government has also asked Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the members of a medical experts team and facilitate their visit to Pakistan to assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners of unsound mind, lodged in different jails of Pakistan.

India has also asked Pakistan to organise an early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to that country and to organise an early visit of the four-member team to Karachi in connection with the release and repatriation of 22 Indian fishing boats.

India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other's country, the MEA said.

In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 82 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan.

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