India, Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners, fishermen

India and Pakistan today exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in jails through diplomatic channels. India handed over lists of 267 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen to Pakistan who are in India’s custody. Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 55 civilian prisoners and 227 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians. External Affairs Ministry said that this is in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged on 1st January and 1st July every year.

Government has emphasised on the need for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats from Pakistan’s custody. Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 4 Indian civilian prisoners and 126 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 14 believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and 100 Indian fishermen who are in Pakistan’s custody. The Ministry said, India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.