India on Tuesday sent a diplomatic note to Pakistan, urging it to make necessary arrangements for an immediate release and repatriation of 10 Indian prisoners who had completed the prison sentence in Pakistani jails.
India has also made a fresh demand seeking consular access to five Indian nationals, including Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose case is pending at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The Ministry of External Affairs sent the note verbale to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi in which India has conveyed its “deep concern” over the long pending release and repatriation of Indian prisoners held under Pakistan custody despite completion of sentence and nationality confirmation, MEA sources told news agency ANI.
Kulbhushan Jadhav’s name figured in the category of Indian ‘civilian’ prisoners in Pakistan’s custody with long-pending requests for consular access. Kulbhushan Jadhav’s name figures with four others – Mohammad Javaid, Abdul Hameed, Muhammad Ismail, Salfikar Ali.
Kulbhushan Jadhav, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of alleged “espionage” in 2016. Pakistan claims he was arrested from Balochistan, while India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran.
In the note verbale India said, “… consular access to Indian fishermen and prisoners in Pakistan jails is inordinately delayed. Such delays cause an avoidable delay in confirmation of their nationality and thus detrimental to the timely release of prisoners and fishermen.”
Consular access for two civilian prisoners in Rawalpindi, which was postponed by the Government of Pakistan, is still pending. It is requested that immediate consular access is provided to all those prisoners and fishermen held in Pakistan’s custody and awaiting consular access, the note added.
India has been consistently raising with Pakistan its concern regarding missing Indian defence personnel, including Prisoners of War, believed to be in Pakistan’s custody, the note mentioned.
However, no response has been received from the Government of Pakistan in this regard. It is requested that necessary steps may be taken immediately to locate, release and repatriate the missing Indian defence personnel believed to be held in Pakistan custody, it said.
India also shared the list of Indian fishing boats held in Pakistan’s custody.
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