Pakistan and India on Sunday exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at Islamabad and New Delhi, the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in the jails.
A Foreign Office statement said, “This is consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on 21 May 2008, under which both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July, respectively.”
India’s External Affairs ministry also confirmed the development.
The lists of 249 civilian prisoners and 108 fishermen were handed over to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan shared the lists of 53 civilian prisoners and 418 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be Indians, said the Foreign Office statement.
While exchanging the lists, the Indian government emphasised on the need for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats.
In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release of 9 Indian civilian prisoners and 229 Indian fishermen who have completed their sentences and whose nationality have been confirmed.
Immediate consular access has also been sought for the remaining prisoners and fishermen to facilitate their early release and repatriation, added the statement. Agencies