India has asked Pakistan to provide immediate consular access to the remaining Indian fishermen and civilian prisoners in Pakistan's custody
India and Pakistan on Sunday exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody. Under the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, such lists are exchanged every year on January1 and July1.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India shared lists of 339 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 Pakistani fishermen currently in Indian custody. Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 51 civilian prisoners and 654 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed to be Indians.

The MEA said India has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel, and fishermen along with their boats, from Pakistan's custody.

In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 631 Indian fishermen and 02 Indian civilian prisoners, who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan.

In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to the remaining 30 fishermen and 22 civilian prisoners in Pakistan's custody, who are believed to be Indian, the MEA added.

Last year between January and September, six Indian prisoners, including five fishermen, died in Pakistani custody.

Upset with these deaths, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi last year on October 7 described the incident as “alarming.”

“These incidents are alarming. The matter has been raised by our high commission in Islamabad. Pakistan is duty bound to maintain the safety and security of Indian prisoners,” MEA Spokesperson Bagchi said.

“There has been an increasing death of fishermen in recent times. Six Indian prisoners out of which five of them were fishermen have died in Pakistani custody. They completed their sentences but were illegally detained by Pakistan,” the MEA Spokesperson said.

India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other's country.

In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 71 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation from Pakistan.

Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, pending their release and repatriation to India.