Indian juvenile fishermen jailed in Pakistan may be freed soon

June 14th, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Thirty-four Indian juvenile fishermen who are “confined” in Karachi may be released soon if Pakistan accepts the recommendations of a joint judicial committee. A statement issued by India’s external affairs ministry Saturday said the committee has also recommended that the two countries should grant consular access to each other for the cases of all their prisoners July 31.

“The Committee recommends that the 34 Indian juvenile fishermen at present confined at the Youthful Offenders Industrial School, Karachi, be repatriated to India immediately and for that purpose necessary action be taken for withdrawal of prosecution,” the statement said.

It added that the Committee recommended that “all such prisoners who have completed their respective sentences and whose national status their High Commission has confirmed be released immediately.”

The panel also wants that the national identity of all the remaining prisoners be confirmed within the next one month or at least before the committee meets in India at the end of July.

The recommendations were made after the India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners, comprising four retired judges from each of the two countries, completed their visit of the jails in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore during June 9-13.

This was the second meeting of the committee, which held its first meeting in New Delhi Feb 26.

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