Give consular access to Pak prisoners: MHA to stateshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/give-consular-access-to-pak-prisoners-mha-to-states/

Give consular access to Pak prisoners: MHA to states

The Centre has asked all the state governments to provide consular access to Pakistani nationals lodged in their jails within three months of their arrests

The Centre has asked all the state governments to provide consular access to Pakistani nationals lodged in their jails within three months of their arrests.

The instruction came after Supreme Court,during hearing of a writ petition regarding repatriation of Pakistani nationals,pulled up the Centre last month for not properly following the repatriation guidelines.

The foreigners division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) held a meeting with representatives of all state governments on 15 February in New Delhi and asked them to ensure that consular access is provided to all Pakistani nationals within three months of their arrests.

According to an MHA letter addressed to home secretaries of all states,the Supreme Court has observed that “large number of foreign nationals have completed their sentences but their deportation has been mainly withheld because of delayed special consular access.”

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Through Consular access system,citizenship status of Pakistani nationals is verified by representatives of Pakistan’s consul offices in India.

In West Bengal,11 Pakistani nationals are lodged in Dumdum,Presidency,Alipore Central and Bongao Correctional homes.