By admin April 3, 2019 11:24

The issue of India’s civilian prisoners in Pakistan India has conveyed its deep concern over the long-pending release and repatriation of its civilian prisoners in Pakistan despite completion of their sentences and confirmation of nationality.


  • There are 385 Indian fishermen whose nationality has been conveyed to Pakistan and who have been languishing in Pakistan jails. India has requested that urgent and concrete steps be taken to repatriate them to India at the earliest, along with their boats.
  • India also gave a list of ten civilian prisoners lodged in Pakistan jails who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed for immediate release.

What are the modalities under which the Nationals can be deported back to India?

  • The borders between India and Pakistan are so uncertain that people usually walk across unintentionally.
  • In the case of fishermen, they unknowingly cross the water borders while fishing.
  • Such people are caught by the country whose borders they cross unknowingly, their nationalities are ascertained and then repatriated back to their countries.
  • Human beings are sent across immediately though the boats may take a little longer to be returned.
  • The same procedure is followed for Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

Why Pakistan is not sending individuals now?

  • It is inhuman on the part of the jail authorities to not send the individuals whose jail terms have been completed and whose national identities have been ascertained.
  • Pakistan had followed the procedure in the past though it is not clear now why the new government is holding back the prisoners.

What is the situation on Prisoners of war (PoWs)?

  • It dates back to 1971 war during the liberation of Bangladesh.
  • It is a common perception that Pakistan deals with PoWs in a very inhuman manner in contrast with the manner in which India has treated its PoWs.
  • According to the Geneva conventions, Pakistan has to treat the PoWs with dignity and return them after the war. But Pakistan has not adhered to the convention though India had returned about 93000 PoWs to Pakistan.
  • This issue has been raised by different governments in India with Pakistan though Pakistan has said they are unaware of the individuals who are PoWs and where they are.

Way forward

  • India and Pakistan have a lot of fronts to improve in terms of relations.
  • Both countries need to address the terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
  • Pakistan should provide consular access to prisoners in Pakistan jails.
  • Both countries need to settle the border issues between them.
  • Pakistan should return fishermen and people who have completed their terms in Pakistan jails and whose identities have been verified. It should also address the issues of people and fishermen who have unknowingly crossed the borders and whose identities are verified by India.
  • India wants to curb the negative elements that disturb the relations between India and Pakistan and shift to a positive mode of improving relations.
  • Pakistan should cooperate in Kartarpur corridor issue by addressing India’s concerns of including anti-India elements in the Kartarpur committee of Pakistan.

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By admin April 3, 2019 11:24