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India, Pakistan Exchange List of Prisoners

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi, Jan 4:

In keeping with the provisions of the May 2008 Agreement, India and Pakistan exchanged, the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad on Friday.  
As per the agreement, such lists are exchanged every year on  January 01 and July 01by India and Pakistan. India handed over the list of 263 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 77 fishermen in its  custody to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan shared the list of 49 civilian prisoners and 270 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians, an official communication from the Union Ministry of External Affairs stated. 
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 03 Indian civilian prisoners and 185 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 22 civilian prisoners who are in Pakistan’s custody and are believed to be Indian.
The Government also requested Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the members of the medical experts team and facilitate their visit to Pakistan to assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners of unsound mind, lodged in different jails of Pakistan. The Government is also planning to organise an early visit of its Joint Judicial Committee to 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 80 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civil prisoners and fishermen, MEA stated.. 
India and Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations
On Friday, India and Pakistan also exchanged, the list of nuclear installations and facilities, covered under the agreement on the prohibition of attack against nuclear installations and facilities between India and Pakistan. The Agreement, which was signed on December 31,1988 and came into force on January 27, 1991 provides, that India and Pakistan inform each other of the nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on the first of January of every calendar year. This is the 30th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 01, 1992.

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