Pakistan demands release of its prisoners from India
Following the death of a Pakistani prisoner, in a prison in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has demanded of India to release, on humanitarian grounds, all such prisoners who have completed their sentences, foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told Dawn.com on Saturday.
A Pakistani prisoner, Shaukat Ali, who was arrested by authorities in India for trespassing more than two years ago, was found hanging inside a jail in Indian Kashmir on Friday.
Shaukat Ali, 42, a resident of Sialkot in Pakistan, had been lodged in a jail in Amphala, about 300 kilometers from the region’s main city of Srinagar, since December 2011.
Pakistan's High Commissioner in India Salman Bashir has contacted Indian authorities to get a detailed report about the death of the Pakistani prisoner.
“Yes, I heard about this incident through the media and we are now in contact with Indian authorities to get more details,” Bashir told Dawn.com via telephone from New Delhi.
Shaukat was arrested on charges of illegally crossing the de facto border between the two countries.
Foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that Islamabad has demanded that all of its prisoners who have completed their actual sentences should be released on humanitarian grounds.
“We have asked our high commission in India to furnish us with more details about the incident,” the spokesperson said.
She expressed concern over the plight of Pakistani prisoners in India and claimed that they face so much torture at the hands of Indian authorities that either they lose their senses or commit suicide.
According to Pakistani diplomats based in New Delhi, Indian officials assured Pakistani officials that the incident would be investigated by a magistrate and, after completion of formalities, the body of the prisoner would be handed over to Pakistani authorities.
Last May, a Pakistani prisoner died of his injuries after he was savagely beaten by fellow convicts in another jail in Indian Kashmir, leading to calls for an international probe into his death.
His death followed a similar assault on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail. A high profile convict, Singh had been on the death row for more than 21 years.