In a significant sign that India is finally responding to Islamabad’s peace overtures, the government has decided to free 39 Pakistan’s nationals at present suffering in Indian jails. These included 21 prisoners who have served out their sentence in India and 18 fishermen.
Speaking to TOI immediately subsequent to Islamabad released Indian soldier Babulal Chavan, Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit had alleged that Pakistan expected India to acknowledge the Chavan’s repatriation and release 33 Pakistan nationals who were in Indian jails regardless of having accomplished their sentence. ‘We have identified these prisoners and with Pakistan confirming their nationality, they will be released on 1st March’ alleged an official source.
On 6th January Pakistan had released 217 Indian fishermen as a wave of goodwill taking the total numbers, such prisoners’ not tied up by Islamabad to 447. A lot of the fishermen had been in jail for more than a year. Just about 100 more are at a standstill in prison waiting for the Indian High Commission to authenticate their nationality. On December 22 in 2016, an NGO alleged that an additional 219 fishermen would be on the rampage on 5th January. The move comes amid souring relations between India and Pakistan in view of the fact that a militant attack on an Indian army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri district and the surgical strikes the Indian army conducted all along the LOC following the assault.
Despite the fact that India has reacted vigilantly to the house arrest of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and his subsequent listing under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the government believes it may be the right time to unbolt channels of communication with Islamabad even if a full-fledged diplomatic dialogue remnants no more than a barely noticeable speck on the horizon.
India has time after time alleged in the past couple of months that it won’t attenuate its stand that there can be no dialogue with Pakistan without confirmable action adjacent to terror groups targeting India. However, there’s also a feeling surrounded by the government that India needs to respond to the opening which Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif according to Pakistan diplomats has sought to offer subsequent to the retirement of Raheel Sharif as army chief.
This adage the government welcoming Pakistan for a South Asia Speakers Summit held in Indore last week and also in quest of to endorse people contact by ensuring and sponsoring Indian partaking in the Karachi Literature Festival. Authoritatively though it continued to be adamant these expansions should not be seen as a precursor to the resumption of talks. The release of prisoners and fishermen will be more significant though as that’s exactly what Pakistan was looking for to take the peace process forward?
In fact, in his primary reach out to India after he saw the back of Raheel, Sharif too had released more than 200 Indian fishermen on his birthday on 25th December preceding year. He followed it up with the release of Chavan who alleged to have ‘inadvertently’ crossed over into Pakistan province the day India carried out its surgical strikes crosswise LoC preceding year.
Pakistan diplomats have upheld from the time of the release of Chavan that the time to move frontward is now as Islamabad too will go into a poll mode subsequent to June this year. According to them, Sharif may not find an adequate amount of maneuvering gap subsequent to that keeping in mind the elections in Pakistan subsequent year and that it is essential to turn up at a mutually satisfying completion for recommencement of dialogue in the subsequently few months.