India to release nine Pakistani prisoners

* Both countries exchange list of their prisoners in each other’s custody

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: India will release nine Pakistani prisoners on Friday as a goodwill gesture. 
According to media reports, India has decided to start releasing Pakistani prisoners from several jails, and nine Pakistani prisoners will be released on Friday. The Indian government informed the Pakistani High Commission officially in New Delhi that these prisoners will be handed over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah border after release. Pakistan and India on Tuesday exchanged the lists of prisoners detained in the two countries in pursuance of a bilateral agreement. According to the Agreement on Consular Access signed between the two countries on May 21, 2008, they are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and July1, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement. 
“Consistent with the provisions of this agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over a list of 296 Indian prisoners (47 civil, 237 fishermen and 12 young offenders [fishermen]) in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad. A similar list of Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails was also handed over to the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi,” the Foreign Office said on Tuesday. Pakistan and India often detain each other’s citizens who inadvertently cross the border or are found fishing in the other’s side at sea.

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