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Monday, April 11, 2011

39 prisoners return home to Pakistan from Indian jails

A group of 39 Pakistani prisoners held in India returned home yesterday, the second high-profile prisoner release in days that underscores an easing of tensions between the two rivals.

“We have received 39 Pakistani prisoners from India,” said Pakistan’s paramilitary Rangers spokesman Mehboob Hussain.

“We are checking their documents and will send them to their respective places,” he added, describing the releases as a “goodwill gesture”.

Indian authorities earlier escorted the Pakistanis, who include two women, to a border transit post in the northern city of Amritsar from where they left for home.

An Indian officer said the detainees were held in eight separate prisons on charges of either overstaying their visa or illegally crossing into India. Pakistan last week released a jailed Indian who had been held for 23 years. The moves are seen as confidence-building measures as India and Pakistan look to get their stalled peace process back on track.

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