Islamabad, Mar 29: India and Pakistan would exchange the lists of prisoners in each other's jails on Monday. According to the Indian government, currently 372 Indian fishermen and around 199 other prisoners are in jails across Pakistan.
"The lists are ready and will be exchanged through diplomatic channels," Afrasiab, Pakistan's deputy high commission to India, said on Friday. The two countries will exchange the lists through their high commissions in New Delhi and Islamabad, he added. A committee of retired judges was set up a year ago to look into the issue of prisoners from the two countries. The committee, which held its first meeting in February in New Delhi, recommended the release of prisoners who have been detained for "petty offences". The committee also directed officials of both countries to prepare and exchange lists of prisoners before its next meeting in Islamabad in mid-April.
The committee members have also decided that the Indian chapter of their committee would visit jails in Pakistan in April, reported the Daily Times.
Earlier, India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that a new consular agreement was also being finalised between the two countries to ensure an expeditious release of prisoners and provision of consular access for them. He said the existing arrangement between the two countries on the granting of consular access and the release of prisoners is governed by the provisions of the 1982 Protocol on Consular Access.