India, Pakistan agree to “resume” visits of officials on fishermen, prisoners issues

The government of India on Wednesday said both India and Pakistan have agreed to”resume” the visits of the Joint Judicial Committee which looks into the issues of fishermen and prisoners in each other’s custody.

In response to queries on the issue, official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “The last visit of such a Committee had taken place in October 2013 to India. The officials on both sides would be working on the modalities to implement the understanding reached on these humanitarian issues”.

He further said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in October 2017 had suggested to the High Commissioner of Pakistan that the two sides could progress on humanitarian issues related to elderly, women, children and mentally unsound prisoners.

“We note that today Pakistan has responded positively to External Affairs Minister’s suggestion to work towards the release and repatriation of prisoners over 70 years of age and women prisoners who are in each other’s custody,” he said.

Further, a visit of a team of medical experts would be organised to meet the mentally unsound prisoners so as to facilitate the repatriation of such prisoners, he said.

Meanwhile, reports from Pakistan said, the western neighbour has “accepted humanitarian proposals” received from India for exchange of prisoners over 70 years of age, facilitating the visit of medical experts from both sides to examine the mentally challenged.

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