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Pakistan Exchanges Prisoner Lists With India

  • VOA News

Pakistan and India have exchanged lists of hundreds of civilian prisoners held in each other's jails for possible release.

Pakistan's government says it has identified nearly 500 Pakistani citizens held in India and awaiting release. However, Islamabad says India has yet to allow Pakistani consular officials access to many of the prisoners. Indian officials say more than 500 of their nationals are being held in Pakistan, including more than 400 fishermen.

The agreement to exchange prisoner lists with the intention of releasing the detainees was reached last month in a meeting of interior ministers in Islamabad. India and Pakistan routinely detain each other's nationals for border violations. Many of the detainees are held for several years before being released. The rival neighbors have freed hundreds of each other's prisoners since 2004 as part of efforts to improve relations.

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