India asks Pakistan to release Indian prisoners in its custody
India on Friday called on Pakistan to release and repatriate 536 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners who have completed their prison terms and whose nationalities have been confirmed.
In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to 105 fishermen and 20 civilian prisoners who are in Pakistani custody and believed to be Indians, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
India made a request in the context of the exchange of lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen by the two countries as part of an exercise to do so on 1 January and 1 July every calendar year under the framework of the 2008 agreement. The MEA said that India has handed over a list of 309 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 fishermen in Indian custody to Pakistan.
Similarly, Pakistan has shared a list of 49 civilian prisoners and 633 fishermen in its custody who are Indians or are believed to be Indians, the ministry said.
“The government calls upon the civilian prisoners, missing Indian defense personnel and fishermen along with their boats to be released and repatriated from the custody of Pakistan at the earliest,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
“In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and return to India of 536 Indian fishermen and three Indian civilian prisoners who have completed their sentences and whose nationality has been confirmed and to be conveyed to Pakistan.” has given.”
The Ministry of External Affairs said that India is committed to addressing all humanitarian matters relating to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country on a priority basis. India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action to confirm the nationality status of 57 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending confirmation of nationality by Pakistan.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan is requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and presumed Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.