New Delhi: Pakistan on Monday handed over a list of 261 Indian prisoners languishing in their custody to Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Radio Pakistan reported that the country shared lists of 209 prisoners and 52 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians. Also Read - Pakistan Lifts Ban On TikTok
This is in keeping with provisions of the 2008 Consular Access Agreement between the two neighbouring nations under which such lists are exchanged twice on 1 January and 1 July, every year. Also Read - As India Boosts Security at LoC, Pakistan’s ISI Tells LeT and Hizbul chiefs to Push Militants into Valley
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India has demanded an early release of civilian prisoners saying, “Immediate consular access has also been sought for the remaining prisoners and fishermen with the request to facilitate their earliest release and repatriation.” Also Read - Safdar Awan, Nawaz Sharif's Son-in-law, Arrested in Karachi After Wife Maryam's Fiery Speech
The MEA added that Pakistan must expedite the release and repatriation of 10 Indian civil prisoners and 124 Indian fishermen to India who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed.
The foreign ministry has also asked Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the medical expert team that will visit Pakistan to assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners who are lodged in different jails in that country.
It said India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.
With inputs from agencies