India and Pakistan, archrival in South Asia, exchanged lists of each other’s citizens held in prisons on Saturday through the two countries’ diplomats in Islamabad and New Delhi.
The two sides also exchanged lists their asset and nuclear facilities Under a 30-year deal, according to official statements from the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Relations between Pakistan and India have been strained since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947 in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Pakistan briefed a senior Indian diplomat in Islamabad on Saturday about a list of 628 Indian prisoners being held in Pakistan, including 577 fishermen accused of illegal fishing in Pakistani territorial waters and 51 others.
This practice is in in line with the 2008 agreement between the two parties on consular access to detainees. The agreement also provides for the exchange of lists of prisoners in the months of January and July.
At the same time, India informed Islamabad of the list of Pakistani prisoners being held in India. India delivered lists of 282 Pakistani prisoners and 73 fishermen. No details were available on civilian prisoners held by India.
In January, India delivered lists of 263 Pakistani prisoners and 77 fishermen detained by India to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan submitted lists of 270 Indian fishermen and 49 prisoners in 2021 in its custody.
Both sides arrested the fishermen for crossing the unspecified maritime border between the two countries. Often fishermen looking for a better catch without modern navigation technology enter the other country’s territorial waters.
Pakistani and Indian maritime security agencies confiscate their boats and place them in prison. Fishermen are usually only released after negotiations between the two countries. Fishermen usually spend years behind bars without a formal trial.
Neither Pakistan nor India have provided details on the other civilian prisoners. But the arrests on both sides included violations such as expired visas or travel in unauthorized cities and towns.
The two nuclear-armed rivals from South Asia also exchanged lists of nuclear facilities and facilities on Saturday.
This exchange is part of an agreement signed by the two countries in December 1988 entitled Prohibition of Attacks on Nuclear Facilities, implemented in 1991.
Neither party has provided details on nuclear facilities, but the list is believed to contain known nuclear facilities.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, and both countries claim full sovereignty over it and have fought two of their three wars in the region.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after India stripped Indian-administered Kashmir of its special constitutional status in August 2019.
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