New Delhi: India will release five Pakistani prisoners on June 7 as a goodwill gesture. The situation of Indian and Pakistani prisoners languishing in jails has been one of the biggest humanitarian issues between the two countries. In April, Pakistan released 360 Indian prisoners after New Delhi sent a note verbale to Islamabad asking them to release prisoners who have completed their sentences.
In its first term the Narendra Modi government was able to secure the release of 1,749 Indian prisoners, including 1,725 fishermen along with 57 boats. In 2017, India had suggested Pakistan that the two sides could work together for the release and repatriation of elderly, women and mentally unsound prisoners on humanitarian grounds and proposed to revive the mechanism of Joint Judicial Committee.
In December 2018, Pakistan released Indian citizen, Hamid Nehal Ansari, after six years in jail. Hamid was arrested by Pakistani authorities in 2012 after he was found with a fake passport. He had gone to Pakistan via Afghanistan on a fake passport to meet a girl he befriended on Facebook.
It was followed by the release of two Pakistani nationals by India--Imran Warsi and Abdullah Shah. Warsi had come to India in 2004 on a valid visa but overstayed after marrying an Indian girl who he loved. He was caught after trying to make a fake passport in Bhopal and released in 2018, after 10 years in jail. Shah, an autistic from Swat, crossed over to India to meet Shah Rukh Khan in 2017.