Nearly 700 citizens, mostly fishermen, languishing in jails

  • By Mohammad Ashraf, Correspondent
  • Published: 17:13 January 1, 2014 Gulf News

Karachi: A bi-annual exchange of prisoners’ lists between Pakistan and India on Wednesday showed that nearly 700 citizens, mostly fishermen, were languishing in jails.

Pakistan and India on Wednesday exchanged the lists of prisoners in each other’s custody

A foreign office spokesperson giving the details said both Pakistan and India are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and July 1, according to the Agreement on Consular Access signed between Pakistan and India on May 21, 2008.

Consistent with the provisions of this agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over a list of 281 Indian prisoners (49 civilian and 232 fishermen) in Pakistan to the High Commission of India on Wednesday.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs also handed over the list of Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails

According to this list, there are a total of 396 Pakistanis in Indian jails (257 civilian and 139 fishermen).

Fishermen arrests are frequently carried out by both the countries, as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

The fishermen often languish in jails even after serving their term, as poor diplomatic ties between the two arch-rivals mean fulfilling official requirements can take a long time.

Both the countries also exchanged the list of their nuclear installations under the bilateral agreement.


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