Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday shared with India a list of 537 Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails as per the provisions of a bilateral agreement.

They include 54 civilians and 483 fishermen, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement here. “The Government of Pakistan today (Tuesday) handed over a list of 537 Indian prisoners (54 civilians and 483 fishermen) in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad,” it said.

The step was taken under the Consular Access Agreement of 21 May 2008 between Pakistan and India, the FO said.
According to 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.

India will share the list of Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails with the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi, the FO said.

Not PoWs

These numbers are apart from the “Missing 54” soldiers and officers of Indian armed forces who have been given the status of ‘missing in action’ or ‘killed’ in action in 1971 India-Pakistan war by the government. They are believed to be alive and imprisoned in various Pakistani jails though Pakistan has denied the existence of any Indian POW’s of 1971 Indo-Pak war; there is strong evidence to suggest that they were captured alive and some or all of them still languish in Pakistani jails.