India and Pakistan on Sunday exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody, in line with the longstanding agreement between the two countries.
“India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody. Under the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, such lists are exchanged every year on 01 January and 01 July,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. It said India shared lists of 339 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 Pakistani fishermen currently in Indian custody. Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 51 civilian prisoners and 654 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed to be Indians.
In the statement, the Indian government called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel, and fishermen along with their boats, from Pakistan’s custody.
“In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 631 Indian fishermen and 02 Indian civilian prisoners, who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan. In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to the remaining 30 fishermen and 22 civilian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody, who are believed to be Indian,” the MEA said.
The ministry said India remains committed to addressing, on priority, 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 71 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation from Pakistan.
The external affairs ministry also said Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, pending their release and repatriation to India.
Similarly, the sides also exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities, simultaneously through diplomatic channels at New Delhi and Islamabad. The list was exchanged under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between India and Pakistan.
” India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, 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 MEA said in a statement.
The agreement, which entered into force on January 27, 1991, provides, inter alia, that India and Pakistan inform each other of the nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the Agreement on the first of January of every calendar year.