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India, Pakistan Exchange Lists of Civilian Prisoners as Part of 2008 Agreement, New Delhi Says

CC0 / / Prison bars
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NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - India and Pakistan have exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody under the bilateral agreement on providing consular access to each others' prisoners, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release on Wednesday.

"India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody. This is in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged every year on 1st January and 1st July," the press release said.

According to the press release, New Delhi handed over a list of 265 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 97 fishermen in its custody to Islamabad, which, in its turn, shared a list of 54 civilian prisoners and 270 fishermen in its custody, "who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians."

"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, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 7 Indian civilian prisoners and 106 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 Indian Fishermen and 18 believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners who are in Pakistan's custody," the press release added.

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In addition, the Indian authorities asked Islamabad to accelerate the grant of visas to the members of the medical experts' team and facilitate their visit to Pakistan. The experts are to evaluate the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian inmates of unsound mind in different prisons across Pakistan.

"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 also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 88 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan," the press release read.
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