India to repatriate 11 Pakistani prisoners via Wagah Border today

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], June 12 (ANI): As a goodwill gesture, India is going to release 11 Pakistani prisoners, who had served out their sentences, and repatriate to Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border. The Indian Government's decision to repatriate Pakistani prisoners shows that India attaches huge importance to addressing all humanitarian matters, at a time when the India-Pakistan tensions are at an all time high with Pakistan rangers violating ceasefire along the Line of Control almost on a daily basis. India had moved the International Court of Justice seeking a stay on the execution of alleged Indian spy and former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who the Pakistan Military Court had accused of being involved in subversive and espionage activities. The ICJ had given its verdict in India's favour following which the tension between the two neighbouring nations escalated to even higher levels. Earlier, India had accused Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and its leader Maulana Masood Azhar for orchestrating a deadly attack on an Indian air force base in Pathankot in January. The composite dialogue between India and Pakistan were cancelled in August 2015. Moreover, on March 1, India reciprocated by releasing 39 Pakistani prisoners, comprising 21 civil prisoners and 18 fishermen, lodged in jails after Islamabad freed 218 Indian prisoners. There were 476 Indian fishermen and 50 civil prisoners in Pakistan custody, on 1 January 2015 according to a list given to Indian Government by Pakistan. This list of the nationals of each country lodged in the jails of the other country was exchanged on 1st January 2015 through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad after both the countries signed an Agreement on Consular Access between India and Pakistan in 2008. The Indian Government regularly takes up with the Pakistan authorities the issue of the early release and repatriation of all Indian prisoners as well as providing them regular consular access. The Indian Government, on a continuing basis, also monitors the status of all such Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails. In addition, an India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners consisting of retired judges from the higher judiciary of both countries has also been constituted to look at humanitarian issues and ensure humane treatment and expeditious release of prisoners, including fishermen, who have completed their prison term.(ANI)