India, Pakistan agree to repatriate prisoners above 70 years of age
Newdehli:_Pakistan’s Defense Minister, Khawaja Asif approved the humanitarian proposal to release civilian prisoners incarcerated in both countries: India and Pakistan. These prisoners included women and mentally retarded persons above 70 years of age. Pakistan’s Foreign Office stated, “Revival of the judicial committee mechanism and facilitating the visit of medical experts (from both sides) to meet and examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation has also been proposed.”
Pakistan hopes that India would positively reciprocate over the exchange of child prisoners below 18 years of age. India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj suggested this proposal to the Pakistan High Commissioner in last October, which Pakistan approved on Wednesday. The details of prisoners are available through a platform of “Aghaz-e-Dosti”. It has released a detailed list of Indian and Pakistani inmates and fishermen who are lodged in jails of these countries.
Pakistan has taken sufficient measures to seek attention of the international community to take the Kashmir conflict as a global to protect the human rights of the people living in that region. While Indian forces through their unprovoked firing are spreading terror and violence in Kashmir.
It is, a cross border Indo-Pak Friendship initiative, has been releasing these lists since 2014 in order to inform people about the importance of peace building, and to make information public so that human right activists and advocates can get assistance from the list. The details are based on the lists which have been exchanged between India and Pakistan on regular basis under the provisions of the ‘Agreement on consular access between India and Pakistan’ signed in 2008. The recent list was exchanged on July 1, 2017.
There are 263 Prisoners (civilians) and 78 fishermen who are believed to be Pakistanis were locked in various jails in India, while Pakistan holds 52 Indian prisoners (civil) in Pakistani jails as per the July 1, 2017 list released by the Aghaz-e-Dosti. This initiative has many prospects in paving ways to hold peace talks between both India and Pakistan.
Eventually, misunderstandings and trust deficits between are expected to decrease and their bilateral relations are expected to move towards normalization. Therefore, this initiative on humanitarian ground can be proven to decrease the growing animosity between the two countries. As the year 2017 witnessed a massive India’s ceasefire violation across the Line of Control, which resulted in several deaths and injuries. Indian forces committed more than 1,900 ceasefire violations across the LOC and working boundary.
While in 2018 India has committed more than 70 violations across this region in which nine civilians and four soldiers lost their lives. Pakistan has taken sufficient measures to seek attention of the international community to take the Kashmir conflict as a global to protect the human rights of the people living in that region. While Indian forces through their unprovoked firing are spreading terror and violence in Kashmir.
India has always shown its inflexibility to hold peace talks with Pakistan claiming that terror and trade cannot together. On the other side, Pakistan claims that first Kashmir issue has to be discussed on the table to further bilateral relations. Both countries’ justifications did not prove to be productive.
Regarding this issue Pakistan has taken defense attaches of six countries including the US, UK, France, Turkey, China and Indonesia to visit the restive LOC in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in February, 2018. So that they can get first-hand knowledge against the India’s conducted violence in that region. These defense attaches met with the injured people and their families and listened to their stories. Apart from this, President of AJK, Sardar Masood Khan has attended “Councilors Convention-2018” in London organized by Pakistan High Commission on Feb 24, 2018 in which more than 200 officials including many lords and mayors from across the London have participated. Khan highlighted the Kashmir matter; only with the support from international community, this conflict can be resolved.
India and Pakistan are one of the least integrated countries in the region. India has always shown its inflexibility to hold peace talks with Pakistan claiming that terror and trade cannot together. On the other side, Pakistan claims that first Kashmir issue has to be discussed on the table to further bilateral relations. Both countries’ justifications did not prove to be productive. Hereafter, the recent proposal of repatriation of elderly prisoner including women and resumption of visits by the Joint Judicial Committee are among the on humanitarian proposal will generate new avenues for cooperative relationship.