As many as 39 Pakistani prisoners, comprising 21 civil prisoners and 18 fishermen, whose nationality has been confirmed by Pakistani authorities, were repatriated to Pakistan via Attari-Wagah border on Wednesday.
India had announced on Tuesday that it was going to release the prisoners, who had served out their sentences, and fishermen and repatriate them to Pakistan as a goodwill gesture.
“The government of India attaches highest importance to addressing all humanitarian matters, including early release and repatriation of all eligible Indian civil prisoners and fishermen,” the foreign ministry said in a press release.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent gestures, including the release of Indian soldier Babulal Chavan and more than 200 Indian fishermen, led to the “reciprocal action” by India. Pakistan was looking for a “small beginning” from India in the form of release of its 33 prisoners, who, it said, have completed their sentence in India.
Prisoners are only released after they meet three conditions — completion of prison sentence, no pending case and confirmation of nationality, officials here said.
Deported man’s family left behind
Attari: A 31-year-old Pakistani national, who had married an Indian, was repatriated to his country on Wednesday. Akbar Durrani’s wife Sofia and their two-year-old son Ariz could not accompany him as they were not given visas to travel to Pakistan. A resident of Okhri in Hyderabad district in Sindh province, Akbar was among the 39 Pakistani nationals who were repatriated by India. Akbar told TOI he was disappointed but confident he would be reunited with his family soon.