Released Pakistani prisoners Mohammed Sohail (L), Mohammed Ali (C), and Fazal (R) look out of a bus as they cross over to Pakistan at the India-Pakistan Wagah border post on October 11, 2011. — Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: India's Supreme Court expressed shock on Friday that more than 250 Pakistanis were being held in Indian jails without ever having faced trial, with at least one behind bars since 1965.

The court, hearing a public interest case filed by a member of the public, ordered the central government to file a comprehensive report explaining the detentions.

“It's shocking that over 254 Pakistani nationals are languishing in jails without a trial,” said Supreme Court judge R.N. Lodha.

The inmates are being held in Jammu and Kashmir, with many thought to be people arrested after unwittingly crossing the disputed border in the area, the court heard. Four are women.

It is thought that there may be inmates held without trial in other states too.

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan said Thursday they expected to open a “new chapter” in their fractious relationship after talks at a regional summit in the Maldives.