New Delhi: India has been successful in securing the release and repatriation of 2,110 Indian prisoners, including fishermen, from Pakistan's custody since 2014 due to its persistent efforts, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.
Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said, "This includes release and repatriation of 362 Indian prisoners, including fishermen, this year, so far."
He said the government attaches high importance to the safety, security and well-being of Indian nationals abroad and consistently takes up with the government of Pakistan the matter of early release and repatriation of all Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen, along with boats.
Giving year-wise details regarding release and repatriation of Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen in the last three years, Muraleedharan said 410 fishermen and two civilians were released and repatriated in 2016.
In 2017, 508 fishermen and seven civilians were released and repatriated while in 2018, 174 fishermen and five civilians were released and repatriated, according to the data given by him.
In 2019 till July 11, 355 fishermen and seven civilians were released and repatriated, the data said.
"As per available information, there are 64 Indian and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and 209 Indian and believed-to-be Indian fishermen in Pakistan's custody," Muraleedharan said, adding that "Pakistan has, on July 1, 2019, acknowledged the custody of 52 civilian prisoners and 209 fishermen."