In a tradition that dates back to 1992, India and Pakistan exchanged details and lists of their respective nuclear installations that are immune to being attacked in the event of hostilities, on Sunday. Lists of civilian prisoners, fishermen, and missing defence personnel are also shared at the event which is organized every year in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities.
The event took place while the two neighboring countries are experiencing very ‘cold’ bilateral ties. Ever since the very first such exchange took place on January 1, 1992, this is the 32nd consecutive exchange of such lists between both countries.
The Ministry of External Affairs of India in a formal statement said, “The government has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel, and fishermen along with their boats, from Pakistan’s custody.”
The statement further read, “In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 631 Indian fishermen and 02 Indian civilian prisoners, who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan.”
“India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country. In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 71 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation from Pakistan,” the statement said.
“Pakistan has been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, pending their release and repatriation to India,” the statement further added.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office of Pakistan Foreign Office issued a statement requesting the Indian Government to release and repatriate 51 of its civilians who had completed their terms in Indian prisons and whose identities had been established. The statement read, “Furthermore, a request for grant of consular access to missing defence personnel of 1965 and 1971 wars, and special consular access to 56 civil prisoners has also been made”.