Pakistan, India share list of cross-border prisoners

In accordance with the Agreement on Consular Access signed in 2008, which requires Pakistan and India to exchange prisoner lists bi-annually, the two countries shared lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen on Friday.

While India reported 309 prisoners and 95 fishermen, Pakistan recorded 49 civilian prisoners and 633 fishermen.

Diplomatic sources inform that Pakistan asked for those that have completed their sentences to be released by India.

On the other hand, India has asked Pakistan to confirm the nationality status of the Pakistanis in custody so that they can be repatriated.

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20 Indian fishermen who had been taken into custody for violating maritime boundaries in Pakistan were previously released from Malir jail after completing their sentences and they were facilitated to Lahore from where they were then handed over to the Indian authorities through the Wagah border. The Edhi Foundation had fulfilled their travel expenses, giving them many gifts.

Similarly, Pakistani nationals were repatriated in February.

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Fishermen and nationals are often arrested between the two countries on various charges, including spying. Ensuing from the unfavourable relationship between India and Pakistan, fishermen are often arrested for violating the poorly marked maritime boundaries. This also often occurs due to boats lacking in the appropriate technology.Those that are arrested are often in miserable conditions and kept for long periods of time, sometimes dying in custody.

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