NEW DELHI: Reiterating its stand, New Delhi has on Saturday once again asked Islamabad to grant full and early consular access to its national Kulbhushan Jadav, who is facing death sentence by a Pakistani military court in connection with an alleged spying case.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, both countries also exchanged a list of prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other’s jails.
MEA in a statement issued from New Delhi stated "India again requested Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to the Indian nationals lodged in the custody of Pakistan, including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadav."
As per list Pakistan shared with India, at least 546 Indian nationals, including nearly 500 fishermen, are languishing in jails in that country.
MEA statement maintained that the agreement, which was signed on 21 May 2008, provides that a comprehensive list of nationals of each country lodged in other country’s jails has to be exchanged twice each year, on January 1 and July 1.
Former Navy officer, Jadhav has been languishing in a Pakistani jail for alleged spying and espionage case and was in April sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage. And in response to Pakistan military court judgement, India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the death penalty. The ICJ on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav. India has been denying councilor access to Jadhave despite repeated requests at multiple diplomatic levels.
And Ansari, a Mumbai resident, was caught for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012 reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online and then went missing. He was later arrested and tried by a Pakistani military court, which pronounced him guilty of espionage.
"India once again requests Pakistan for the early release and repatriation of Indian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats whose nationality has been confirmed by India," the MEA said.
It said India remains committed to address on priority all humanitarian matters with Pakistan, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen.
In its list, the Pakistan foreign office said the Indian prisoners included "52 civilians and 494 fishermen".
According to the Pakistan foreign office said 219 Indian fishermen were released on January 6 and added that Pakistan would release another 77 fishermen and one civilian on July 10.
"In this context, we await from Pakistan confirmation of nationality of those in India's custody who are otherwise eligible for release and repatriation," MEA stated added.