ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have agon the release of certain civilian prisoners languishing in each other’s jails, the Foreign Office announced on Wednesday.
Prisoners in three categories – women, mentally challenged and those above 70 years of age – would be released and repatriated to their home country on humanitarian grounds.
The proposal for the swap of prisoners in specific categories was floated by India.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, after consulting with all the stakeholders, approved the proposals from India regarding the civilian prisoners, the FO statement said.
The two sides have reached an agreement on the following: exchange of three categories of prisoners comprising women, mentally challenged or with special needs and those above 70 years of age; revival of the Pakistan-India Joint Judicial Committee on Prisoners, which has been inactive since October 2013, and facilitating the visit of medical experts from both sides to meet and examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has extended two more proposals that include exchange of prisoners who are above 60 years of age or below 18 years of age.
He expressed the hope that India would positively reciprocate Pakistan’s proposals.
Published in Daily Times, March 8th 2018.