At least 43 Pakistani prisoners will be repatriated from Sri Lanka, announced Pakistan’s Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Friday after securing an agreement with the Sri Lankan government.

The announcement came following a meeting between Naqvi, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Admiral (retd) Ravindra Wijegunaratne alongside Interior Secretary Khurram Ali Agha, National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Lt General Muhammad Munir, and other officials.

Naqvi stated that the interior ministry closely collaborated with Sri Lankan authorities over the past month to facilitate the return of the incarcerated individuals. He maintained that both nations have agreed to expedite the repatriation process.

Describing the agreement as a “positive outcome” of diplomatic efforts, he added that the arrangements for the return of Pakistani prisoners would be concluded within a few days.

Expressing gratitude for Sri Lanka’s cooperation, the interior minister highlighted how ties between the two nations have continuously strengthened over seven decades.

Naqvi underscored Pakistan’s commitment to enhancing bilateral relations across various sectors.

Both countries pledged to boost cooperation, particularly in security and counter-narcotics efforts.

On April 4, Pakistan and Iran reached a mutual agreement to release prisoners held in each other’s jails on humanitarian grounds. There were 160 Pakistanis held captive in Iranian jails, while Pakistan had 60 Iranian inmates in its custody.

The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights was informed by the foreign ministry on February 21 regarding 23,000 Pakistanis currently languishing in foreign prisons including over 15,000 convicts.

Meanwhile, on January 1, Pakistan handed over a list of 231 Indian prisoners including 184 fishermen and 47 civilians lodged in its jails to the Indian High Commission. The Indian government also shared the list of 418 Pakistani prisoners in its custody.

Source: The Express Tribune