Arch rivals Pakistan and India on Tuesday exchanged lists of prisoners held in each other’s jails on different charges, Pakistan’s foreign office said.
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in a statement that a list of 380 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails had been handed over to Indian authorities, and a list of 296 Indian prisoners in Pakistani prisons has been submitted.
The process of prisoners’ release accelerated following the release of 92 Indian prisoners by Pakistan as a goodwill gesture on the occasion of the oath taking ceremony of the newly elected Indian Premier Narendra Modi in May. The gesture was reciprocated when India released 38 Pakistani prisoners a few days later.
Most of the prisoners languishing in the two countries’ jails are fishermen who are often arrested for crossing mistakenly into forbidden territories to fish due to unmarked sea frontiers.
The two South Asian nuclear rivals have had a history of animosity since 1947, the year the united India split into two independent states. The two countries have fought three full-scale wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971, and a three-week long Kargil skirmish in 1999.