Islamabad, June 15 : The Pakistan-India Judicial Committee recommended to governments of both countries that all those prisoners who have completed their sentence and whose national status has been confirmed by their respective high commissions should be released immediately.
Following their visit to jails in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi and meeting with Indian prisoners, members of the committee's Indian wing said that the national status of those prisoners not confirmed should be finalised within a month, and before the committee's next meeting in India. According to a joint statement issued by Pakistan's Foreign Office, the committee noted that lists of prisoners exchanged by the two governments on March 31, 2008 were incomplete and did not mention names and details of all detainees.
Keeping in view the recent death of four Pakistani nationals in Indian prisons and one Indian national in a Pakistani prison, the committee recommended immediate steps by either country where a foreign national dies while in custody.
The committee also recommended that the high commission of the other country will be immediately informed in writing of the death of any prisoners and immediate instructions be issued by the federal or central governments to the home departments and inspector generals of all the provinces or states for strict compliance.
It recommended that necessary instructions might be issued for the supply of copies of inquest or inquiry reports, if any, and post-mortem reports in respect of such deceased prisoners to the high commission of the other country, and bodies of such prisoners be sent to their home country at the earliest possible time and maximum within three weeks of death.
The committee recommended that women, juvenile, terminally ill and disabled prisoners, whether under trial or already convicted, be repatriated to the country of their origin at the earliest possible time.
The committee recommended that prisoners involved in minor offences also deserve compassionate and humanitarian consideration, the Daily Times reported.