Authorities in Islamabad have been asked to provide immediate consular access to 182 Indian fishermen and 17 civilian prisoners who are in Pakistan's custody and are believed to be Indian.
New Delhi: As per the annual protocol, India and Pakistan on Saturday (January 01) exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody.
"This is in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged every year on January 01 and July 01," the MEA said in a statement.
India handed over lists of 282 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 73 fishermen in India's custody to Pakistan.
"Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 51 civilian prisoners and 577 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed to be Indians," the statement said.
The Government has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen from Pakistan's custody along with their boats.
The statement said, "In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 02 Indian civilian prisoners and 356 Indian fishermen to India, whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan."
In addition, Islamabad has been asked to provide immediate consular access to 182 Indian fishermen and 17 civilian prisoners who are in Pakistan's custody and are believed to be Indian. The Government also requested Pakistan to expedite the grant of visas to the medical experts' 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.
The statement said, "It was also proposed to organise an early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to Pakistan."
The statement said that India remains committed to addressing all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other's country. In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 68 Pakistan prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending and waiting for nationality confirmation by Pakistan.
"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civil prisoners and fishermen," the statement said.
Through diplomatic channels at New Delhi and Islamabad, India and Pakistan exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between India and Pakistan.
The Agreement was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 17, 1991, states that India and Pakistan inform each other of the nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on January 01 of every calendar year.
"This is the 31st consecutive exchange of such lists between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 01, 1992," the MEA added.