Pakistan

NEW DELHI – A Pakistani prisoner has been found dead after being brutally tortured by other inmates lodged at a jail in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan days after a deadly attack on paramilitary forces in Occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Shakirullah, who belonged to Pakistani city of Sialkot, was first brutally tortured and then reportedly stoned to death by his fellow Indian prisoners at the Jaipur Central Jail.

The Pakistani inmate was reportedly being held on charges of espionage.

The killers “had decided to kill the Pakistani inmate in protest against the February 14 attack,” according to reports in the Indian media.

Initial probe reveals that two Indian prisoners were involved in the killing as a ‘protest’ against the Pulwama attack that left at least 40 soldiers dead, the India Today reported.

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In January, Pakistan had shared with India a list of 537 Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails as per the provisions of a bilateral agreement. They include 54 civilians and 483 fishermen, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement here.

“The Government of Pakistan today (Tuesday) handed over a list of 537 Indian prisoners (54 civilians and 483 fishermen) in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad,” it said. The step was taken under the Consular Access Agreement of May 21, 2008, between Pakistan and India, the Foreign Office said.

According to the agreement, both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and July 1.  At least 347 Pakistani citizens or those believed to be Pakistani citizens, including 249 civilians charged under various acts and 98 fishermen who had crossed into Indian waters, are in Indian jails.

The two countries have adhered to the practice of exchanging the list of prisoners despite recurring tensions. It is one of the enduring Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) agreed upon when the two sides were trying to disentangle the complex relationship with the help of the composite dialogue process.

Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid being drifting away.

The news of the mysterious death of a Pakistani prisoner in a Jaipur jail comes as Pakistanis and Kashmiris in India are facing increasing threats by Indian nationalists.