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India, Pakistan exchange list of civilian prisoners, fishermen

Representative Image (Photo: ANI)

India and Pakistan on Monday exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in each other’s custody, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The lists were shared in keeping with the provisions of the bilateral Agreement on Consular Access 2008, under which the lists are exchanged every year on January 1 and July 1, an MEA statement read.

India has shared the lists of 366 civilian prisoners and 86 fishermen in India’s custody to Pakistan.

Similarly, Pakistan has shared “names of 43 civilian prisoners and 211 fishermen in its custody, who are Indian or are believed-to-be-Indian,” according to MEA.

“The Government of India has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, fishermen along with their boats, and missing Indian defence personnel from Pakistan’s custody. Pakistan has been asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 185 Indian fishermen and civilian prisoners, who have completed their sentence. In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to the 47 civilian prisoners and fishermen in Pakistan’s custody, who are believed-to-be-Indian and have not been provided consular access so far,” the MEA said in an official release.

“Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be-Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, pending their release and repatriation to India,” it added.

India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those about prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.

“In this context, India has urged Pakistan to expedite the nationality verification process of 75 believed-to-be-Pakistani civilian prisoners and fishermen in India’s custody, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation from Pakistan,” the MEA said.

As a result of sustained efforts by the Government, 2,639 Indian fishermen and 71 Indian civilian prisoners have been repatriated from Pakistan since 2014.

This includes 478 Indian fishermen and 13 Indian civilian prisoners who have been repatriated from Pakistan since 2023 till date.