Pakistan to release 101 Indian prisoners Wednesday

November 25th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Nov 25 (IANS) One hundred and one Indian prisoners being released by Pakistan will cross the Wagah border Wednesday when Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be in New Delhi to discuss confidence building measures with his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.Pakistan Sunday announced that that 99 Indian fishermen arrested for illegally entering into Pakistan’s territory and two other prisoners who have completed their jail terms will be handed over to the Indian authorities at the Wagah border on Wednesday.

An official of Karachi’s Malir jail said that 99 fishermen left for Lahore on Tuesday morning while two prisoners will be released from the Lahore jail.

The official said that 302 fishermen are still in Pakistani jails, besides more than 100 Indians in other jails, most of whom have completed their terms. This also includes Indian prisoner on death row Sarabjit Singh, whose mercy petition is pending with the president.

There was speculation he may be released after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in August said he had requested the president to consider his mercy petition. However, the officials refusing to give the names of prisoners being released from the Lahore jail but said that Singh is not among them.

Qureshi will hold wide-ranging talks with Mukherjee on Wednesday and among other issues, would be discussing that of the prisoners and particularly the fishermen who are frequently arrested by both countries for violating territorial waters that are yet to be defined.

This apart, issues like Kashmir, Chenab water flow, Siachen, Sri Creek, the visa regime, trade, security, terrorism and Confidence Building Measures are expected to come under discussion at New Delhi’s Hyderabad House Wednesday evening.

Qureshi’s present four-day visit is in continuation of his last visit which was cut short due to death of his mother-in-law on June 27.

He will visit Chandigarh on Nov 27 where he will address a seminar organized by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development. Mukherjee will accompany him.

On Nov 28, he will return to the Indian capital after visiting Ajmer Sharif and Jaipur. He will address a function at the Indian Women’s Press Corps in New Delhi and meet Indian leaders on Nov 29.

Officials say that Qureshi will also raise the issue of Samjhauta Express blasts in view of the recent Malegaon investigations which have apparently pointed to the involvement of Hindu groups in the terrorist act which killed 68 persons, mostly Pakistanis in February 2007.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |