Pakistan on Friday handed over a list of 319 Indian prisoners including 49 civil and 270 fishermen lodged in the country's jails to the High Commission of India as part of a bilateral agreement.
The Foreign Office (FO) said that the step is inconsistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between the two countries signed on May 21, 2008.
“The Government of Pakistan, today, shared with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad a list of 319 Indian prisoners in Pakistan, including 49 civilians and 270 fishermen prisoners,” it said.
Reciprocally, the Indian government also simultaneously shared the list of 340 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 263 civilians and 77 fishermen with the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi, the FO said.
The two countries under the agreement are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 1st January and 1st July.
Despite recurrent tension over the years, the two countries have been exchanging the lists of prisoners without any break.
The exchange of information comes despite the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan.
The relationship dipped after India's warplanes pounded a terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019, in response to the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
Tensions between the two nations spiked further after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian high commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.
Asserting that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter", India has defended the imposition of restrictions in the Kashmir Valley on the grounds that they were put to prevent Pakistan from creating more mischief through proxies and terrorists. PTI SH CPS