ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Wednesday exchanged lists of prisoners in each other’s custody as part of a bilateral agreement on consular access between the two neighbours. Under the agreement both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners twice a year – on January 1 and July 1.
“Consistent with the provisions of this agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over a list of 403 Indian prisoners – 48 civilians and 355 fishermen – in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad on Wednesday,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
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A similar list of 278 Pakistani prisoners – 251 civilian and 27 fishermen – being held in Indian jails was also handed over to the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi.
The exchange comes at a time when relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours are tense due to controversial statements given by the Indian political leadership. The controversial remarks include an admission by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his country played a role in the breakup of Pakistan in 1971.
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India’s defence minister had also said that New Delhi would use terrorists to neutralise terrorists seemingly while referring to Pakistan. Islamabad has strongly condemned the statements.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.
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