The Indo-Pak tensions, following the Pulwama attack, refuse to die down with New Delhi on Tuesday asking Pakistan to provide consular access to former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav and other Indian civilian prisoners and immediately release the Indian fishermen in its custody.
In a lengthy note verbale sent to the Pakistan High Commission, India conveyed to Islamabad its deep concern over the long pending release and repatriation of Indian prisoners in the neighbouring country despite the completion of sentence and confirmation of their nationality.
“The esteemed High Commission is requested to make immediate necessary arrangements for the immediate release and repatriation of 10 Indian civilian prisoners lodged in Pakistan jails who have already completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to the Government of Pakistan,” the note verbale said. The names of these 10 Indian nationals were also been given to the Pakistani mission.
The note verbale said five prisoners lodged in Pakistan jails have been confirmed to be Indian nationals and Pakistan should make necessary arrangements for their early release and repatriation. The names of these five prisoners were also given to the mission.
India said there were 385 Indian fishermen whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan and who have been languishing in Pakistan jails despite completing their sentences. India sought their immediate repatriation.
India conveyed to Pakistan its serious concern and protest on the delayed information of the death of Indian fisherman Bhikha. It regretted that Pakistan has not intimated the circumstances and causes leading to his death. This was not the first such case. The death of Indian fishermen Deva Bhai and Nanu Bhai, was also informed after inordinate delay.
The Government of Pakistan was asked to ensure the safety, security and medical well-being of all Indian fishermen/prisoners. It was also asked to make arrangements for expeditious repatriation of the mortal remains of Bhikha.
India said it has been providing consular access in a timely manner to Pakistan High Commission officials to Pakistani prisoners in India. However, consular access to Indian fishermen and prisoners in Pakistan jails was inordinately delayed. In this context, it was pointed out to Pakistan that consular access for 5 civilian prisoners, including Kulbhushan Jadhav, was still pending at Pakistan’s end.
India said it has been consistently raising with Pakistan its concern regarding missing Indian defence personnel, including Prisoners of War, believed to be in Pakistan’s custody. It regretted that no response has been received from Pakistan in this regard. Islamabad was asked to take necessary steps immediately to locate, release and repatriate the missing Indian defence personnel.