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(2017-07-02) Pakistan remains committed to the implementation of the 2008 Agreement on Consular access between India and Pakistan, which stipulates the exchange of comprehensive lists of nationals of each country in the other country’s jails twice a year on January 1 and July 1. These lists were exchanged on July 1. Five Indian nationals who completed their sentence were repatriated on 22 June 2017. In contrast, 20 Pakistani civilian prisoners who have completed their sentence still await repatriation, while consular access to 107 Pakistani fishermen and 85 civilian Pakistani prisoners is also pending.

Additionally, two juvenile Pakistanis Ali Raza and Babar Ali, who inadvertently crossed the border in July 2016, despite orders of the Indian courts, were repatriated after a year’s delay on 5 June 2017.

Indian humanitarian claims appear contrary to reality in view of the impossible conditionalities imposed for medical visas for Pakistani patients. Under the directive of the Prime Minister, arrangements are being made for such treatments/operations to be carried out in Pakistan.

As for the Indian attempt to equate Commander Jhadav’s case with civilian prisoners and fishermen is a travesty of logic. Commander Jhadav is a serving Indian Naval officer and sent to Pakistan by its intelligence agency RAW for espionage, terrorism and subversive activities which resulted in loss of many innocent lives and damage to property.

Pakistan has implemented the bilateral consular agreement in letter and spirit and is committed to ensuring that humanitarian cases are not held hostage to politics. We expect India to reciprocate through action rather then rhetoric.

2 July 2017

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