ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-India Joint Judicial Committee has recommended both the governments to exchange consolidated particulars of their respective civilian prisoners on 31st of next month.This has been stated in a joint statement of the committee at the conclusion of its first two day meeting in New Delhi Wednesday.Answering questions, the Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said that the committee is empowered to devise and implement the mechanism for the release of prisoners.
It has also recommended that those prisoners who have completed their sentences and whose national status has been verified be released forthwith. Special consideration on compassionate and humanitarian basis be accorded to women, juvenile, and disabled prisoners for their repatriation.
As agreed between the two governments the fishermen whose nationality status is confirmed be also released forthwith and in remaining cases Consular access be provided by 31st of March. It also has recommended that both the countries may immediately notify its prisoners and provide consular access expeditiously.
The committee agreed to visit Pakistani jails in April this year that would also be followed by a return visit to Indian jails.He said there are 450 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails while there are 500 Indian prisoners in Pakistan.To a question he said Pakistan since 2003 has released 2657 Indian prisoners while India has released 820 prisoners so far.To another question he said as mechanism to free the prisoners is in place, the committee will look into the case of the release of fishermen also expeditiously.
To a question regarding Pak-India talks and the statement of Indian President, the spokesman said Pakistan looks the statement reaffirmation of Indian commitment to bilateral talks with Pakistan. He said bilateral talks between the two countries are continuing without any interruption and both are engaged on diplomatic channels to fix the dates for reviewing fourth round of talks in Islamabad.
He said talks are also underway to arrange meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the both countries for a quick start of fifth round of talks. Answering questions regarding meetings of the foreign envoys with Pakistani politicians, Muhammad Sadiq said these are not illegal as Pakistan is a free country and everyone has right to meet each other.
But he said these diplomats should be careful to talk about our internal affairs that would be considered as illegal and un-diplomatic.
On a question regarding providing bases for spy planes to US, the spokesman said intelligence sharing between the two countries is very well known but it does not include provision of any kind of bases.To a question regarding the speech of US Senator Jew Biden demanding stoppage of military aid to Pakistan and enhancing socio-economic aid, he said some parts of his speech does not match ground realities.
Answering a question regarding some illegal activities of Chinese nationals, he said both Pakistan and Chinese governments are fully aware of these activities and are in touch with each other to tackle the issue.Regarding release of Pakistani diplomat Tariq Azizuddin, he said the government is making all possible efforts to make his safe recovery without compromising on national interests.On the issue of recognition of Kosovo, Muhammad Sadiq said Pakistan has always supported Kosovo’s cause in the United Nations it remains committed to this policy direction. He said as recognition is a legal issue, therefore Pakistan is engaged in consultation with brotherly and friendly countries in this regard.-SANA