India, Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners in each other’s custody

India, Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners in each other’s custody

New Delhi, July 1 : India and Pakistan on Monday exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in each other’s custody.

Under the provisions of the bilateral Agreement on Consular Access 2008, such lists are exchanged every year on 1st January and on 1st July, a statement said.

India has shared the names of 366 civilian prisoners and 86 fishermen in its custody, who are Pakistani or are believed-to-be-Pakistani. Similarly, Pakistan has shared names of 43 civilian prisoners and 211 fishermen in its custody, who are Indian or are believed-to-be-Indian.

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

Pakistan has been asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 185 Indian fishermen and civilian prisoners, who have completed their sentence. In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to the 47 civilian prisoners and fishermen in Pakistan’s custody, who are believed-to-be-Indian and have not been provided consular access so far. Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be-Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, pending their release and repatriation to India.

India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country. In this context, India has urged Pakistan to expedite the nationality verification process of 75 believed-to-be-Pakistani civilian prisoners and fishermen in India’s custody, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation from Pakistan.

As a result of sustained efforts by the Government, 2,639 Indian fishermen and 71 Indian civilian prisoners have been repatriated from Pakistan since 2014. This includes 478 Indian fishermen and 13 Indian civilian prisoners who have been repatriated from Pakistan since 2023 till date, the statement said.

UNI

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