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August 14, 2007

134 Indians sent back; India to free 72 Pakistanis today

Business

August 14, 2007

WAGAH/NEW DELHI: Pakistan sent home 134 Indian prisoners on Monday — mostly fishermen or people who said they had strayed across the border by mistake — as part of ceremonies marking both countries’ 60th anniversary.

In reciprocation, India will release 48 Pakistani fishermen and 24 civilian prisoners on Tuesday (today). More than 30 prisoners sent back on Monday were from held Kashmir. They were transported to the Wagah border post and handed over to the Indian authorities.

Talking to media men on Monday, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said 72 Pakistani prisoners would be released on Tuesday, however, eight more Pakistanis taken into custody on July 17, would remain in India. At least 155 Pakistani civilian prisoners will also remain in India as they are serving their sentences, he added. The spokesman indicated India’s unhappiness over Pakistan not releasing all the 396 incarcerated Indian fishermen. “We have noted the government of Pakistan has announced the release of 100 fishermen and 35 prisoners,” he said, adding that efforts would continue to get (the rest of) them released.

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