India on Monday said that it is still waiting for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and other Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody, as it exchanged with Islamabad the list of civilian prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other’s jails. “Lists of 250 civilian prisoners and 94 fishermen were handed over to Pakistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
A list of 54 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 4 fishermen, who have completed their sentence and a confirmation of their nationality is awaited from Pakistan, was handed over and Pakistan was asked to expedite the confirmation, the ministry said.
Asserting that it remains committed to addressing humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country, the ministry said the government has repeatedly emphasised the need for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats. “We also await consular access to those Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody for whom it has so far not been provided, including Kulbhushan Jadhav and Hamid Nehal Ansari,” the ministry asserted. Pakistan has shared a list of 58 civilian prisoners and 399 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be Indians, it said.
The ministry said the list was exchanged between the two countries through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad. It was done as part of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access between India and Pakistan. The ministry also informed that a juvenile named Hasnain, whose nationality was verified by Pakistan, was being repatriated.
The Pakistan Foreign Office also issued a press release regarding the exchange of lists and said that Pakistan will release 146 fishermen on January 8.