India, Pak exchange lists of prisoners

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New Delhi, Jan 1: India and Pakistan on Tuesday exchanged lists of prisoners lodged in each other’s jails in keeping with a 2008 agreement.
“India handed over (names) of 249 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 98 fishermen in India’s custody to Pakistan,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
“Pakistan has shared lists of 54 civilian prisoners and 483 fishermen in its custody who are Indians or believed to be Indians,” it stated.
The lists were exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad.
India also called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats.
“In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 17 Indian civilian prisoners and 369 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed,” the statement said.
“Immediate consular access has also been sought for the remaining prisoners and fishermen to facilitate their early release and repatriation.”
According to the 2008 agreement, both countries exchange lists of prisoners lodged in each other’s jails on January 1 and July 1 every year.
The statement said that India had also asked Pakistan to expedite a response in the case of 80 Pakistan prisoners who have completed their sentences and await repatriation for want of nationality confirmation by Islamabad.
“To take forward the understanding reached to address the humanitarian issues, especially with respect to elderly, women and mentally unsound prisoners, India has already shared the details of the reconstituted Joint Judicial Committee and of the Indian medical experts team to visit Pakistan to meet the mentally unsound prisoners,” it said.
“Pakistan has also been requested to expedite the visit of a group of fishermen’s representatives to facilitate the repatriation of Indian fishing boats, presently held in Pakistan’s custody at the earliest.”