Indian fishermen wait for transport following their release from prison in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on May 24, 2013. – AFP Photo
ISLAMABAD: The governments of Pakistan and India on Monday exchanged lists of prisoners lodged in each other’s respective prisons.
According to the list, there are 386 Pakistan prisoners in Indian prisons while 491 Indians are currently held in Pakistani jails.
Lists are exchanged under Consular Agreement signed between the two countries in May 2008. Lists of prisoners are to be exchanged twice a year, on January 1 and July 1 respectively.
The foreign office handed over the list of 491 Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. A similar list of 386 Pakistani prisoners was also handed over to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by the Indian ministry of external affairs.
A spokesman of the foreign office said upon receipt of these lists, the respective interior/home ministries of both countries would consult the provincial home departments and jail authorities to ascertain how many of the prisoners are completing their jail term.
The spokesman said accordingly, upon completion of their jail terms these prisoners will be released.
The spokesman said Pakistan government views the issue of prisoners as a humanitarian one and continues to make efforts for their release as soon as their prison sentences are completed.
It may be recalled that on the directives of caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso in May this year, Pakistan released 46 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture.
The spokesman said Pakistan is making arrangements for the release of 11 Indian civil prisoners by the middle of this month.