New Delhi: India on Thursday handed over a list of 271 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 74 fishermen in its custody to Pakistan.
Similarly, Pakistan shared lists of 51 civilian prisoners and 558 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed-to-be Indians.
The two neighbours exchanged the lists through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad.
This was in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged 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. In this context, said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.
Pakistan has been 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.
In addition, Pakistan has 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.
The government 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.
India remains 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.