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QUESTION NO.455 FISHERMEN FROM ANDHRA PRADESH IN JAILS IN PAKISTAN

February 07, 2019

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.455
TO BE ANSWERED ON 07.02.2019

FISHERMEN FROM ANDHRA PRADESH IN JAILS IN PAKISTAN

455. SHRI KANAKAMEDALA RAVINDRA KUMAR.

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a)(a) whether Government is aware that a large number of fishermen from Andhra Pradesh are detained in Pakistan jails for inadvertently entering into Pakistan;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether Government has held any talks at diplomatic level to rescue/release those fishermen; and

(d) if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) to (d) According to the available information, 503 Indian fishermen are believed to be in Pakistan’s custody. According to the list shared on 1 January 2019, Pakistan has acknowledged the custody of 483 fishermen who are Indian or believed-to-be-Indian in their jails. These include fishermen from Andhra Pradesh.

The Government attaches high importance to the issue of safety, security and well-being of the Indian fishermen. The Government, through diplomatic channels has taken up the matter with the Government of Pakistan seeking immediate consular access to the apprehended fishermen and their immediate release and repatriation.

Government’s persistent efforts have succeeded in securing the release of 1749 Indian prisoners, including 1725 fishermen along with 57 boats from Pakistan’s custody since 2014. The Government continues to pursue the matter of early release and repatriation of all remaining Indian prisoners, including fishermen along with their boats who are believed to be in Pakistan’s custody.

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