India, Pakistan exchange lists
of civilian prisoners, fishermen

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NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan on Thursday exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody.

India handed over lists of 271 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 74 fishermen in India’s custody to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 51 civilian prisoners and 558 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed-to-be Indians, read a Ministry of External Affairs press release.

The list was exchanged in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged every year on 1st January and 1st July.

India has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats, from Pakistan’s custody.

Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of one Indian civilian prisoner and 295 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan, read MEA release.

It has also been asked to provide immediate consular access to 194 fishermen and 17 civilian prisoners who are in Pakistan’s custody and are believed to be Indian.

India also requested 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. It was also proposed to organise an early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to Pakistan, read the release.

Meanwhile, India is committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each-others country.

In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 78 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civil prisoners and fishermen, added the release. (ANI)