Bilateral Agreement on Consular Access Current Affairs
India and Pakistan have exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other’s jails. The list was shared as per the provision of bilateral agreement on consular access signed between both countries in May 2008. Under it, lists of prisoners have to be exchanged twice every year – on January 1 and July 1.
In the latest exchange, Pakistan has shared with India list of 53 civilian prisoners and 418 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be Indians. India handed over to Pakistan list of 249 civilian prisoners and 108 fishermen from Pakistan lodged in Indian jails. India also shared details of reconstituted Joint Judicial Committee in order to take further understanding reached to address humanitarian issues, especially with respect to elderly, women and mentally unsound prisoners and that of Indian medical experts team to visit Pakistan to meet mentally-unsound prisoners. Pakistan has also been requested to allow visit of group of fishermen representatives to facilitate repatriation of Indian fishing boats, presently held in Pakistan’s custody, at the earliest.