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India to provide consular access to Pak prisoners from Jul 10-28

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 7 (UNI) India will provide consular access to Pakistani prisoners, including civilians and fishermen, from July 10 to July 28 and hopes that Pakistan will reciprocate by July 31 providing similar access to 118 Indian civilian prisoners and 192 fishermen in their custody.

Prisoners in jails in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand will be provided consular access in the Dum Dum Central Jail in Kolkata on July 10-11 while those in jails in Rajasthan and Gujarat will be given consular access in Jaipur Central Jail on July 13-14.

Similarly, prisoners in jails in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir will be given consular access in Amritsar Central Jail on July 20-21 and those in jails in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh or any other state/Union Territory will be provided consular access in Delhi's Tihar jail on July 27-28.

Thirty fishermen will also be provided consular access in Jamnagar Central jail in Gujarat on July 13.

The maximum number of the prisoners released by India is from Punjab, totalling 20, followed by Jammu and Kashmir with 10. Five prisoners are from Rajasthan and one each from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

''This is being done in pursuance of the third round of Home Secretary-level talks on Terrorism and Drug Trafficking under the Composite Dialogue Process held in Islamabad on May 30-31,'' an official statement said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said that in pursuance of the understanding between India and Pakistan during the Home Secretary-level talks in Islamabad on May 30-31 India released 38 civilian Pakistani prisoners on June 30 whose nationality had been confirmed and who had completed their sentences.

''The agreement between the two countries also provides for facilitating consular access by July 31 to the remaining civilian prisoners whose lists have been received by June 15. In implementation of this agreement, India will be providing consular access to Pakistani civilian prisoners...The government of India hopes that the government of Pakistan will reciprocate by providing consular access to 118 civilian prisoners and 192 fishermen in custody in Pakistan by July 31,'' Mr Sarna said.

India has already released all 59 Pakistani fishermen in its custody on May 29.

This was done in pursuance of the understanding reached between the two countries during the Home Secretary-level talks in Islamabad on May 30-31 within the framework of the third round of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) to release fishermen and civilian prisoners whose national status has been confirmed and who have completed their sentences.

UNI RB MSJ ND1740

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