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Indo-Pak to release, repatriate women prisoners and those over 70 years

Indo-Pak to release, repatriate women prisoners and those over 70 years

He said that thousands of Pakistanis contacted embassy on daily basis, adding that Ministry of Foreign Affairs was making efforts to provide consular access to the prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan foreign minister, Khawaja Asif, also offered to extend the parameters for prisoner release: those above 60 years of age and below 18 years would also be released.

The first proposal is about "exchange of three categories of prisoners, women, mentally challenged or with special needs and those above 70 years of age".

Pakistan on Wednesday accepted India's proposal to release women, disabled and elderly inmates above 70 years locked in each other's custody. In Pakistan, there are 457 Indian prisoners, comprising of 399 fishermen and 58 civilians.

A second seeks to revive the judicial commission and a third seeks to facilitate "the visit of medical experts (from both sides) to meet and examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation", the Pakistan statement said.

At least 40 Pakistani citizens are imprisoned in Indian jails who fit the criteria of the three categories mentioned in the approved proposal, according to Dawn.




In October previous year, Sushma Swaraj suggested that the two sides could progress on humanitarian issues related to elderly, women, children and mentally unsound prisoners when Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood called on her after freshly assuming office.

In January, the transfer of lists of prisoners took place between Pakistan and India.

Pakistan's foreign minister Khawaja Asif, after consultations with "all stakeholders", approved the proposals, which had been received from the Indian side, the Pakistani statement, emailed by the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi, said.

New Delhi's position on ceasefire violation has remained consistent with suggestions that Indian armed forces are only responding to Pakistani attempts at facilitating infiltration of militants. The officials on both sides would be working on the modalities to implement the understanding reached on these humanitarian issues."While this is a positive sign, what we really need is to stop this constant cross-border shelling, which has the potential to escalate into a wider conflict".

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