Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

India to Release 33 Pakistani prisoners in the coming days | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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New Delhi, Asharq Al-Awsat-A senior police official has told Asharq al-Awsat that India will release 33 Pakistani detainees from a number of prisons in Jammu and Kashmir.

He stated that out of 76 Pakistani prisoners that have been held captive in Kot Balwal prison in Jammu and Kashmir, 33 would be handed over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah border, the official crossing point between India and Pakistan on the international border.

Most of the captives likely to be released had accidentally strayed onto Indian territory from the Pakistani controlled areas of Kashmir and were not involved in any militant acts, whereas others had participated in petty crimes. The released detainees will include teenagers and disabled persons who had crossed over to Indian controlled parts of Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir shares a 200-kilometer international border and a 744 kilometer Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan administered Kashmir. Both Indians and Pakistanis frequently cross over the borders, as the boundaries are not clearly defined.

Sources revealed that the Indian government has issued a list of 20 prisoners involved in militant acts; however, Pakistan has refused to accept many of them as its citizens.

Following an improvement in the relations between the neighboring countries, India and Pakistani security agencies have repatriated at least twelve innocent persons over the past 18 months.

A significant amount of the prisoners likely to be released in the coming days would have completed their sentences issued by the Indian court. India and Pakistan have agreed recently to release innocent citizens who have been suffering in prison for years, as a gesture of goodwill.

Earlier this year, India released 23 Pakistani prisoners.