NEW DELHI, India: India has released 16 Pakistani prisoners including nine fishermen, a few days after Pakistan released 163 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture.
In a statement, the Indian External Ministry said that 16 Pakistani prisoners, whose nationality has been confirmed by Pakistani authorities, are being repatriated to Pakistan via Wagah border.
The ministry further said that cases against nine Pakistani fishermen have also been withdrawn.
Earlier on August 3, Pakistan released 163 Indian fishermen who were subsequently repatriated to India through Wagah.
“Pakistan has always held that the issue of prisoners in our respective countries is a humanitarian one and should be taken in that spirit,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in its statement on August 4.
“It is our hope that both countries will release all prisoners who have completed their sentences.”
The two countries released each other’s prisoners as a follow up to a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Russia City of Ufa on July 10, 2015.
It was agreed in the meeting that the two sides would release fishermen in each other’s custody along with their boats.
“As a follow up to Prime Minister’s meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ufa (Russia) on 10 July 2015 (during which it was agreed by the two sides to release fishermen in each other’s custody, along with their boats); cases against nine Pakistani fishermen have been withdrawn, their nationality confirmed with the Pakistani authorities, and they will be repatriated to Pakistan via Attari/Wagah on August 8, 2015,” the statement issue by the Indian External Ministry said.