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India tells Pakistan: Return our civilians and fishermen in your custody

Simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the two neighbouring countries exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody through diplomatic channels. 

India tells Pakistan: Return our civilians and fishermen in your custody-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Jul 1, 2021, 7:10 PM IST
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India on Thursday sought early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats, in Pakistan's custody.

Simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the two neighbouring countries exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody through diplomatic channels. 

India has handed over a list of 271 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 74 fishermen in its custody, 

"This is in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged every year on January 1 and July 1," an official statement said.

Like India, Pakistan has also shared lists of 51 civilian prisoners and 558 fishermen into its custody, who are Indians or are believed-to-be Indians. 

"Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 1 Indian civilian prisoner and 295 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan," the Indian official said. 

In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to 194 fishermen and 17 civilian prisoners who are in the country's custody and are believed to be Indian. 

Further, India also urged Islamabad to expedite the grant of visas to the members of the medical experts' team and facilitate their visit to Pakistan to assess the mental condition of believed-to-be Indian prisoners of unsound mind, lodged in different jails of Pakistan. 

"It was also proposed to organise an early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to Pakistan," the statement added.

Stating that it remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other country, India has also asked Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 78 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan.

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