07:59 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Pakistani former prisoners Nasreen Akhtar (L), Mohammad Yasin Jat (2L), Mohammad Nadeem (C), Akhtar Ul Islam Teeli (3R), Haroon Ali (2R) and Altab(R) wave as they prepare to cross the India-Pakistan border in Wagah, about 35 km from Amritsar on June 19, 2018

    India Sets Free Six Pakistani Prisoners Including Women, Children

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    The development comes after India and Pakistan revived a decade old mechanism of the Joint Judicial Committee that looks into humanitarian issues of fishermen and prisoners in each other's custody last month.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has handed over six prisoners to Pakistani authorities in the presence of officials from the Pakistan High Commission. These prisoners, including women and children, have reached Pakistan through the Wagah border crossing. The six were lodged in various jails, transit camps and juvenile homes in India. Four other Pakistan prisoners were released and repatriated earlier this year. 

    READ MORE: India, Pakistan Hold Maritime Dialogue After Two Years

    The external affairs ministry has said that India, too, hopes for a reciprocal step by Pakistan soon.

    "India attaches high priority to addressing all humanitarian issues, including early release and repatriation of Indian fishermen and prisoners in Pakistan's custody. The release of 147 Indian prisoners, including 146 fishermen, has been secured in 2018, so far," India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. 

    According to Pakistan's High Commission in New Delhi, a child, Haroon Ali, was also among the released prisoners. Haroon Ali was kept in a juvenile home after he crossed the border mistakenly while chasing his mentally-challenged brother.

    The High Commission has also secured the release of Nasreen Akhtar, who was awarded ten years and six months in India, along with a hefty fine which was paid by Pakistan's High Commission six months ago.

    READ MORE: India Slams Pakistan Over Executive Order for Part of Kashmir Area — Ministry

    Earlier this year, in January, the Indian government handed over a list of 250 civilian prisoners and 94 fishermen to Pakistan. At that time, Pakistan also shared a list of 58 civilian prisoners and 399 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be Indians.

    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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