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India repatriates six Pakistani prisoners

New Delhi [India], June 19 : The Indian Government on Tuesday repatriated six Pakistani prisoners, including a woman and a child, back to their country through the Attari-Wagah border.

"In addition, four Pakistan prisoners have already been released and repatriated in 2018, so far," read a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.

"India attaches high priority to addressing all humanitarian issues, including early release and repatriation of Indian fishermen and prisoners in Pakistan's custody. The release of 147 Indian prisoners, including 146 fishermen, has been secured in 2018, so far," the statement further read.

"I was in jail in India for 1.5 years after the Indian Army arrested me from the border. I am thankful to the Indian government for relieving me," one of the six prisoners, named Mahmed Nadeem, told ANI.

Similar was the story of another prisoner, named Akhtar-ul-Islam.

"I am from Lahore. I crossed the border and came to India by mistake. The session court and High Court have set me free from all charges. It feels good that I am going back to my nation. Currently, it's my 12th year in India. I was 20 when I was caught," he said.

"I want to request the governments in India and Pakistan that please don't do politics when it comes to the life of prisoners because their lives are wasted due to long pending cases," the prisoner added.
In October last year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had suggested that the two sides could progress on humanitarian issues related to elderly, women, children and mentally unsound prisoners.
Following that, in March this year, India and Pakistan had agreed to release and repatriate women prisoners and those above 60 and below 18 years of age.

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