India, Pak To Swap Women, Over 70 Year-old Prisoners

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Islamabad—India and Pakistan on Wednesday to exchange prisoners over 70 years of age, facilitating the visit of medical experts from both sides to examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation and revival of judicial committee mechanism.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also suggested that the exchange be applicable to child prisoners under 18 years of age and those who are over 60.

“The Foreign Minister, after consulting with all the stakeholders, has approved the following humanitarian proposals, which had been received from the Indian side, regarding the civilian prisoners incarcerated in both the countries: Exchange of three categories of prisoners, women, mentally challenged or with special needs and those above 70 years of age. ii. Revival of the Judicial Committee mechanism. iii. Facilitating the visit of medical experts (from both sides) to meet and examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation,” a statement issued from Foreign Office said.

The Foreign Minister also expressed the hope that India would positively reciprocate Pakistan’s proposals, in the spirit that they have been made. He also stated that it was his desire that through such initiatives, Pakistan and India would embark on the road to a comprehensive dialogue and make a conscious effort to de-escalate the extremely vitiated current environment and the situation on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

Both Pakistan and Indian troops have exchanged heavy fire for the past two years after relations nosedived, following terrorist incidents in 2016 in Pathankot and Uri. India blamed Pakistani militants for carrying out the attack.

The arrest of alleged Indian spy Kalbhushan Jadhav in Balochistan province in 2016 further deteriorated the relations. Pakistan alleged that Jadhav was a serving Indian Navy official employed by RAW to spread terror in Balochistan and Sindh Province while India denied the allegations.

India went to the International Court of Justice in 2017, following a death sentence that was awarded by a military court to Jadhav.

 

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