ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have exchanged lists of prisoners languishing in each other’s countries as part of the bilateral agreement on Consular Access between the two neighbours.
Under the agreement both countries are required to exchange list of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and July 1 respectively.
“Consistent with the provisions of this agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over a list of 403 Indian prisoners including 48 civilians and 355 fishermen in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad on Wednesday,” said a foreign office statement issued on Wednesday.
A similar list of 278 Pakistani prisoners including 251 civilian and 27 fishermen lodged in Indian jails was also handed over to the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi.
Read: Pakistan govt frees 113 Indian fishermen
The exchange of lists comes weeks after India released 88 Pakistani fishermen as a good will gesture to reciprocate a similar move by Pakistan by releasing 113 Indian fishermen.
It comes at a time when relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours are tense due to controversial statements given by the Indian political leadership.
Some of the statements include remarks by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he admitted his country played a role in the breakup of Pakistan in 1971. Further, the Indian defence minister in a reference to Pakistan said India would use terrorists to neutralise terrorists.
Read: Funeral held for Pakistani prisoner killed in Indian Kashmir
Pakistan strongly condemned Indian assertions, saying it vindicated its fears India was interfering in the internal matters of the country.
Relations further deteriorated after the BBC in its recent documentary claimed India was funding Muttahida Qaumi Movement.