India is committed to address “all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners” with Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement after New Delhi and Islamabad exchanged lists of prisoners on Sunday in accordance with the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, under which the exchange takes place every year on January 1 and July 1.
“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,” a press note released by the MEA said. India also asked to fast track the release and repatriation of 631 Indian fishermen and two Indian civilian prisoners “who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan”.
The MEA said that the Indian side has sought “immediate” consular access to the “remaining 30 fishermen and 22 civilian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody, who are believed to be Indian”.
Delhi has shared lists of 339 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 Pakistani fishermen who are in India’s custody. Pakistan was also asked to confirm the “nationality status” of 71 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending as Islamabad has not yet confirmed their citizenship status.
Lists of nuclear facilities
The two sides also exchanged lists of their nuclear facilities on Sunday as part of a 1988 pact that is aimed at preventing attacks targeting nuclear installations in each other’s territory.