CHANDIGARH: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked nine state governments, including Punjab, to give the complete address of Pakistani prisoners lodged in their respective jails after verification of their nationality.
The High Commission of Pakistan has shared a list of 57 prisoners with the government who are believed to be Pakistanis. There are 77 Pakistani nationals lodged in the jails of Punjab at present. Sources said the MHA has written to Punjab, NCT of Delhi, J&K, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana and Maharashtra seeking the complete address of Pakistani prisoners upon verification of their nationality.
“It is pertinent to mention that these Pakistani prisoners have already been provided consular access by this ministry with the officials of the Pakistan High Commission. However, their nationality status could not be verified by them based on the details obtained during their consular access,” said the letter. The letter has attached two lists. The first comprises details of 44 Pakistani prisoners who are currently lodged in various jails/detention centres in states/UTs. The second list has details of four Pakistani prisoners who were earlier lodged in jails and were not reported to be in prison/detention as per inputs received from the state governments/UT administrations as of January 1, 2022.
As per data from the Punjab prisons department, there are 77 Pakistan nationals lodged in various jails in Punjab. Of them 28 are under-trials, 11 are convicted and 38 have completed their prison sentence and are awaiting return to their country. Most of them are lodged in Amritsar Central Jail, said sources. On July 1, Pakistan said that it has 682 Indian prisoners detained in its jails, as Islamabad and New Delhi exchanged a list of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody.
These lists are exchanged twice a year — on January 1 and July 1 — under the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access. Pakistan shared a list of 682 Indian prisoners detained in the country, including 49 civilians and 633 fishermen, with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
Similarly, the Indian side has also shared a list of 461 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 345 civilians and 116 fishermen with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. India had called on Pakistan to release and repatriate 536 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners who have completed their jail terms and whose nationality has been confirmed.