NEW DELHI: Over 400 Indians, of whom 355 are fishermen and five women, are lodged in Pakistani jails, according to a new list released today in the public domain.
A total of 405 Indian nationals - 355 fishermen and 48 others - are in Pakistani jails till July, 2015, an RTI query by an Indo-Pak friendship initiative has found. The Ministry of External Affairs has informed 'Aaghaz-e- Dosti' (A Start of Friendship), a joint initiative between non-government organisations of both India and Pakistan that have come together, about the figures.
The organisation, which released the first such list in 2014, has maintained that the move is to increase transparency. "This is the first such detailed list in public domain. This is particularly to help the affected persons' families, who don't even know that they are languishing in the jails," Aaghaz-e-Dosti founder Ravi Nitesh told PTI.
Nitesh said the RTI query was with reference to a 2008 agreement under which the two countries exchange lists of prisoners. He appealed to the governments of both the countries to release such crucial data on their own so the prisoners do not continue to suffer despite having completed their prison terms.
"It is for the first time that such a detailed list has been put on public portal. This list provides information about the status of prisoners as on 1st July 2015 in each other's jail," the group said in a release.
The group is planning to write to both the governments to release those who are languishing in jails due to bureaucratic hassles, Nitesh said.