Pakistan protests death of two nationals in Indian jailsJune 14th, 2008 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, June 14 (IANS) Pakistan has protested to India over the deaths of two of its nationals, including an elderly woman, in Indian jails and demanded a probe into the matter. The foreign office has taken up the issue with the Indian High Commission here, the Pakistani mission in New Delhi and with the Indian external affairs ministry, Dawn reported Saturday.
The bodies of Rashidan Bibi, 60, and Abdul Aleem, 28, were Friday handed over to Pakistan by the Indian authorities at the Wagah border.
Aleem had been in Indian custody since 2001 and Rashidan was arrested in 2006.
“The causes of their deaths are not known,” Dawn said, adding: “The Pakistani officials conveyed to the Indian authorities their government’s shock and anger at the deaths and expressed concern over the treatment of Pakistanis in Indian custody.”
Foreign office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said the Indian government had been asked to ensure humane treatment of Pakistani prisoners, update information on prisoners, provide them consular access and take steps for early repatriation of those who had completed their sentences.
“The demands made by us are well within the international human rights norms and have been agreed by the two governments in the recently signed Consular Access Agreement,” Sadiq added.
According to lists exchanged by the two countries on March 31, there are 147 Pakistani civilians, including 14 fishermen, in Indian jails.
The Pakistani members of the Pakistan-India Judicial Committee on Prisoners have been asked to take up the issue during their upcoming visit to India.
Pakistan and India had in 2007 formed the committee, comprising four retired judges from each country, to recommend steps for the humane treatment of prisoners and their expeditious release.
The Indian and Pakistani members of the committee Saturday completed a tour of jails in this country to enquire about the condition of Indian prisoners lodged there.
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