Prisoner Exchange: Pakistan, India Share Inmate Lists Today

Web DeskJanuary 1, 2024
Prisoner Exchange: Pakistan, India Share Inmate Lists Today

In a gesture of adherence to established consular agreements, Pakistan and India are scheduled to swap lists containing the names of civilian prisoners held in each other’s custody. The simultaneous exchange, set to occur today, will be coordinated through the high commissions in Islamabad and New Delhi, following the guidelines outlined in the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access between both nations.

Key points highlighted in this exchange:

  • Biannual Exchange Mandate: The agreement mandates a regular biannual exchange of prisoner lists between India and Pakistan, scheduled for January 1 and July 1 each year.
  • Recent Exchange Figures (July 1, 2023): India detained 417 Pakistanis, including 74 fishermen, while Pakistan held 308 Indian prisoners, including 266 fishermen.
  • Consular Access Commitment: Both governments commit to granting consular access within three months to their detained citizens in the other country.
  • Sentence Information and Repatriation: They also agreed to promptly inform each other about sentences imposed on nationals and ensure their repatriation upon completion of sentences within a month.

Read more:Hamas Proposes Prisoner Swap as Conflict Enters New Phase

The agreement allows for compassionate and humanitarian considerations in cases involving political or security grounds. This flexibility enables either side, based on their respective laws and regulations, to permit the early release and return of individuals.

The detainment of fishermen often occurs due to the ambiguous maritime border in the Arabian Sea. Their lack of technology on boats to determine precise locations upon entering another country’s waters contributes to these detentions.

Additionally, the Indo-Pak Joint Judicial Committee, comprising eight retired judges—four from each country, plays a pivotal role in addressing the situation of civilians held in the other country’s jails. Established in 2007, its main objective is to advocate for the release of fishermen inadvertently arrested for crossing territorial waters. Although inactive since 2013, the committee was reinstated in 2018, aiming to address these critical issues.

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