Pakistan to release 367 Indian prisoners on August 24 amid high tension along LoC

Eurasia News

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government will release 367 Indian prisoners on August 24 to send a positive message to its neighbour amid high tension due to firing on the Line of Control (LoC), India media citing Pakistani sources reported on Saturday.

According to Dispatch News Desk reports, it said that both the countries are trying to ease the pressure on the LoC, which divides disputed Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani-controlled sectors, after about two weeks of ceasefire violations that started after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops early this month.

“Yes, it is true that 367 Indian prisoners and fishermen are being released on August 24,” a senior Foreign Office official told Indian media on the condition of anonymity as the decision has not been officially announced as yet.

Currently, hundreds of prisoners are being held in jails on both sides as Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz told parliament on Friday that there were 491 Indian prisoners, including 437 fishermen and 54 civilians, in Pakistani jails.

There were at least 485 Pakistanis jailed in India, including 172 fishermen and 313 civilians, Aziz further said referring to the record of the Foreign Office.

But the latest list provided by India on July 1 under a Consular Agreement shows that there are 386 prisoners in Indian jails, including 108 fishermen.

Aziz said the discrepancy of 99 prisoners had been taken up with the Indian authorities.

Meanwhile, in a weekly press briefing on Friday, Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said that both “diplomatic and military channels” were being used to normalise the situation.

The spokesman said a meeting between the Prime Ministers of both the neighbouring countries on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in September in New York would be an “useful opportunity” to build trust and consolidate ties.