Fishermen Issues Current Affairs
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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.
India and Pakistan held meeting of their coast guard officials (Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency) held in New Delhi. They addressed issues pertaining to boundary violations by fishermen from both sides and enhancing cooperation in area of maritime search and rescue and combating pollution at sea.
Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in October 2005 for envisaging cooperation between ICG and PMSA. The MoU was extended for five years in 2016.The MoU envisages cooperation through exchange of information on Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) violations, marine pollution, apprehended vessels, natural disasters and calamities, combating smuggling, illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and piracy and coordination in search and rescue and return sea passage. It also established communication link between coast guards of both counteries which is operational. Under provisions of MoU, directors general of PMSA and ICG meet periodically. This annual meeting is significant link between coast guards of two neighbouring countries for addressing issues pertaining to maritime security