Days after PM Narendra Modi’s casual meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif, India will on Monday release 11 civil prisoners in what officials described as a ‘goodwill gesture’.
Pakistan had sought the release of these prisoners as they had all served their sentence. This is the first such gesture from Indian authorities since alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was served death sentence by a Pakistan military court in April this year.
The release is significant as it also comes days after Modi’s “exchange of greetings” with Sharif in Astana on the margins of the SCO summit. According to official sources, since it was the first occasion when the 2 leaders came across each other after Sharif’s operation, PM enquired about his health. He also enquired about Sharif’s mother and family.
Indian officials said the release of prisoners was a humanitarian issue and should not be linked with further downturn in ties over Jadhav. The government hopes that Islamabad too will facilitate the release of Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails.
According to the government, there are 132 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails, out of which 57 have already served their jail term. Pakistan says that India has to confirm their nationality before it releases them.