According to the agreement, two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 of every year.
New Delhi: India and Pakistan on Monday exchanged lists of prisoners and nuclear installations, as per existing agreements, even as New Delhi said that it awaits consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and other Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody.
As Pakistan announced that it will release 146 Indian fishermen on January 8, New Delhi reminded Islamabad that it had failed to provide consular access to Indian prisoners Mr Jadhav and Hamid Nehal Ansari, a management graduate who was arrested in Pakistan where he went in search of his lover in 2012.
Amid strained ties with Pakistan, the government has also ruled out a bilateral cricket series. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has hinted to a Parliamentary committee that any bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan is unlikely unless Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism and firing.
The ministry of external affairs said that on Monday lists of 250 civilian prisoners and 94 fishermen were handed over to Pakistan. In Islamabad, Pakistan shared a list of 58 civilian prisoners and 399 fishermen in its custody.
The MEA said, “A list of 54 Pakistani civilian prisoners and four fishermen, who have completed their sentence and whose nationality confirmation is awaited from Pakistan, was also handed over and Pakistan was asked to expedite the confirmation.”
“The government has repeatedly emphasised the need for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats. We also await consular access to those Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody for whom it has so far not been provided, including Kulbhushan Jadhav and Hamid Nehal Ansari,” the ministry said.
The exchange of lists of prisoners comes just days after former Indian naval officer Mr Jadhav was allowed to meet his mother and wife on December 25 in Islamabad.
The way in which the meeting was conducted by Islamabad and the treatment meted out to Mr Jadhav’s wife and mother before and during the meeting had drawn a sharp response from New Delhi.
Mr Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court last year on charges of espionage and sabotage, allegations which New Delhi has dismissed as false.
On information related to N-installations, the MEA said, “India and Pakistan today exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations.”
The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, provides that the two countries must inform each other of nuclear installations and on January 1 every year. This is the 27th exchange of such list since 1992.
In Islamabad, the Pakistan foreign office said, “The government of Pakistan today handed over a list of 457 Indian prisoners (58 civil + 399 fishermen) in Pakistan, to the High Commission of India in Islamabad.”
“This step is consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on May21, 2008, under which both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and July 1, respectively. Pakistan will release 146 fishermen on January 8,” it said.