06:48 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Indo-Pak Mechanism for Humanitarian Issues Revived Indicating Thaw in Tension

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    The move assumes high significance, as India and Pakistan have also recently revived the non-governmental Track-II diplomatic channel, which comprises military and diplomatic experts from both sides.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — After a prolonged spell of aggression, India and Pakistan have revived a decade old mechanism of the Joint Judicial Committee that looks into humanitarian issues of fishermen and prisoners in each other's custody. The move was proposed by the Indian side seven months ago.

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    "External Affairs Ministry, in October 2017, had suggested to the High Commissioner of Pakistan to revive the mechanism of the Joint Judicial Committee. Pakistan responded positively to the same on 7 March 2018," India's foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

    India on Thursday also communicated to Pakistan the names of four retired judges to be part of the mechanism, which was first formed in 2007 and the last meeting was held in October 2013. The names proposed by India include Justices Jaspal Singh, Harshvadan B. Antani, Deo Narayan Thanvi and Indermeet Kaur Kochhar.  

    "We have also sought dates from Pakistan for organizing the visit of the Committee," the statement added.

    The committee members visit and meet prisoners in each other's jails and propose steps to ensure humane treatment and expedite the release of inmates who have completed their prison terms. The Committee met seven times between 2007 and 2013.

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    The move to revive the mechanism comes a few days after both countries started a non-governmental (Track-II) diplomatic channel — the Neemrana Dialogue when, an Indian delegation comprising retired diplomats and experts on foreign policy, military veterans and academicians traveled to Islamabad in a bid to discuss ways to remove bitterness in relations.

    Both countries had stopped bilateral talks at the ministerial level after a series of terrorist attacks on India's military bases in 2016.


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