International

Pakistan confirms it has 682 Indians in its jails


Representational image only.

Representational image only. | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pakistan on July 1 confirmed that it has 682 Indians in its jails, as Islamabad and New Delhi exchanged a list of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody, a routine practice between the two neighbours under the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access.

These lists are exchanged twice a year — on January 1 and July 1 respectively. Pakistan shared with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad a list of 682 Indian prisoners detained in the country, including 49 civilians and 633 fishermen, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

Similarly, the Indian side has also shared a list of 461 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 345 civilians and 116 fishermen with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

These steps were taken under clause (i) of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on 21 May 2008, mandating both countries to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody on January 1 and July 1 every year, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

India on July 1 called on Pakistan to release and repatriate 536 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners who have completed their jail terms and whose nationality has been confirmed.

In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to 105 fishermen and 20 civilian prisoners who have been in Pakistan's custody and are believed to be Indians, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

"The government has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats, from Pakistan's custody," the MEA said in a statement in New Delhi.

"In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 536 Indian fishermen and three Indian civilian prisoners to India who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan," it said.

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

India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 57 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan.


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 10:10:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-confirms-it-has-682-indians-in-its-jails/article65589291.ece