Islamabad: A total of 457 Indian prisoners, including 399 fishermen, are languishing in various Pakistani jails, according to a list the Pakistan government handed over to the Indian High Commission here today.
The Foreign Office said that the step of giving the list of prisoners was consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on 21 May 2008.
Under the agreement, both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July.
“Pakistan today handed over a list of 457 Indian prisoners – 58 civil prisoners and 399 fishermen – in Pakistan, to the High Commission of India in Islamabad,” it said.
It further said that Pakistan will release 146 fishermen on 8 January.
The Foreign Office said the India will also hand over the list of Pakistani prisoners to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid being drifting away.