ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed the National Assembly on Monday that India had confirmed presence of 380 Pakistanis in its prisons as compared to Islamabad’s claim of 486.
“As per the lists of prisoners exchanged on 1st July 2014, India has confirmed presence of 380 Pakistani prisoners — 264 civilians and 116 fishermen — in Indian jails,” Mr Aziz said in a written reply to a question by Chaudhry Shahbaz Babar.
“However, according to our claim, there are 486 Pakistani prisoners — 350 civilians and 136 fishermen — detained in Indian jails,” he added.
The adviser informed the house that there were a total of 296 Indians, 249 fishermen among them, detained in Pakistani jails.
There are 296 Indians, 249 fishermen among them, in Pakistani jails
Mr Aziz said that over the past five years Pakistan had released 1,952 Indian prisoners which included 75 civilians and 1,877 fishermen.
Interestingly, while responding to another question raised by Shakila Luqman, the adviser said that at present 168 Pakistani fishermen were detained in Indian jails.
He said the government had been consistently discussing with the Indian authorities the repatriation of Pakistani prisoners on humanitarian grounds. The Pakistan’s high commission in New Delhi provides legal assistance to these prisoners.
In reply to a question by Dr Mahreen Razaque Bhutto, the adviser said that a total of 374 violations of ceasefire by Indian forces on the Line of Control had been reported since July last year.
These incidents resulted in the killing of five military men and five civilians and injuries to another 75 people, including 57 civilians.
Answering a question raised by Aisha Syed, he said there were nine Iranian nationals detained in various Pakistani jails and there were 234 Pakistani prisoners detained in various Iranian jails over crimes ranging from forgery to smuggling of narcotics.
To a question raised by Shaikh Rohale Asghar, Mr Aziz said according to information received from the US Embassy in Islamabad 24 Pakistani nationals were detained in the Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan.
“Determination of their national status is currently under process by the relevant departments and agencies,” he added.
The adviser said these people had been detained on charges of their suspected involvement in terrorist activities and association with terrorist outfits.
He placed a list of the detained persons before the house. According to the list, the Pakistanis detained in the Bagram detention centre are: Fazel Khan/Fazel Karim, Abdul Halim Saifullah, Mohammad Eqbal, Saiful Rahman, Jaber Zaher, Abdullah (Abdul Nabi), Imranul Hassan, Sardar Mohammad, Imran Rassoul, Anal Khan, Faitullah, Mumtaz Khan/Imtiaz Khan, Mohammad Eqbal, Mohammad Amin, Amanatullah/Ahmad Dilshad, Shoaib Khan, Mohammad, Latifullah, Hafizullah, Abdullah, Nur Islam, Aziz Arafat, Mohammad Akram and Saifullah.
Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2014