India, Pakistan exchange prisoners list: MEA urge for “immediate” consular access

Pakistan on Friday shared a list of 682 Indian prisoners detained in the country with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad under the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access provisions.

India and Pakistan exchange lists of prisoners from the other country in their custody every six months.

India handed over lists of 309 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 fishermen in India’s custody to Pakistan. Among Indian prisoners in Pakistan, 49 are civilians and 633 are fishermen.

India called on Pakistan to release and repatriate 536 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners who have completed their jail terms.

India also asked for “immediate consular access” for 105 fishermen and 20 civilians.

“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,” said MEA in a statement.

“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 57 Pakistani 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 civilian prisoners and fishermen,” reads the statement.