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QUESTION NO.3782 INDIANS IN PAK JAILS

December 11, 2019

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.3782
TO BE ANSWERED ON 11.12.2019


INDIANS IN PAK JAILS


3782. SHRI RAJESHBHAI CHUDASAMA:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) the number of Indian citizens and fishermen imprisoned in the jails of Pakistan and since they have been imprisoned;

(b) whether any financial or other assistance has been provided by the Government to the family of such persons; and

(c) if so, the details thereof and the action taken by the Government for getting these people released?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) to (c) As per the available information, there are 292 Indians and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen in Pakistan’s custody. According to the list shared on 1 July 2019, Pakistan acknowledged the custody of 52 civilian prisoners and 209 fishermen who are believed-to-be Indians. In addition, there is the issue of 83 missing Indian defence personnel, including Prisoners of Wars, whose custody has not been acknowledged by Pakistan, so far.

The Government of India attaches high importance to the issue of prisoners held in Pakistan custody and consistently takes up the matter of their early release and repatriation to India. As a result of our persistent efforts, the Government has been successful in securing the release and repatriation of 2112 Indians, including fishermen, from Pakistan’s custody since 2014. This includes 364 Indians who have returned this year, so far.

The Government is consistently taking up the matter of release and repatriation of remaining Indian prisoners. India has also shared details of a team of medical experts to visit the mentally unsound prisoners to facilitate their nationality verification and subsequent repatriation. Pakistan has not responded so far.

As regards financial assistance, according to the available information, Department of Fisheries has a non-plan scheme on Soft Loan Package for replacement of fishing vessels held captive in Pakistan. This scheme envisages one time replacement of a total of 326 fishing vessel held captive in Pakistan with a capital subsidy to the tune of 30% cost of each vessel subject to a ceiling of Rs 6 lakhs. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has been designated as an implementing agency. In addition, Department of Fisheries has been providing insurance coverage through Group Accident Insurance Scheme for active fishermen.

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