Goodwill gesture: India to release 11 Pakistan prisoners today

The flag of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and flags of the SCO member states in Astana

Sputnik Bolat Shaikhinov The flag of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and flags of the SCO member states in Astana

The prisoners who are to be released have served their sentence and, therefore, the Pakistani authorities had sought that they be allowed to return to their country.

Indian officials said the release of prisoners was a humanitarian issue and should not be linked with further downturn in ties over Jadhav. India's move to repatriate Pakistani prisoners is a first of its kind since April this year when the Jadhav episode unfolded. The move comes at a time when the two nations are fighting a legal battle at the International Court of Justice over the death sentence of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

This is the first such gesture from Indian authorities since Kulbhushan Jadhav was served death sentence by a Pakistan military court in April this year.

Days ago, PM Modi had met Sharif on the sidelines of the Summit in Kazakhstan where the two nations permanent members of the SCO.

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Last week India released two boys Ali Raza, 11 and Babar 10, who had accidently crossed working boundary with along with their uncle Muhammad Shahzad.

After a recent meeting of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, in Astana, India on Monday announced the release of 11 Pakistani prisoners.

Moreover, on March 1, India reciprocated by releasing 39 Pakistani prisoners, comprising 21 civil prisoners and 18 fishermen, lodged in jails after Islamabad freed 218 Indian prisoners.

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