Sun, 16 Aug 2020

New Delhi [India], July 1 (ANI): India and Pakistan on Wednesday exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are shared every year on January 1 and July 1.

The lists were exchanged simultaneously through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad.

India handed over lists of 265 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 97 fishermen in its custody to Pakistan. Pakistan shared lists of 54 civilian prisoners and 270 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians, External Affairs Ministry said in a release.

The government called for early release and repatriation of 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 seven Indian civilian prisoners and 106 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan.

In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to Indian fishermen and 18 believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners who are in Pakistan's custody.

The Indian Government has also called upon Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the members of the 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 and to organise an early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to Pakistan.

The government also called upon Pakistan to organise an early visit of four-member team to Karachi in connection with release and repatriation of Indian fishing boats.

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

In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 88 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan. (ANI)

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