For the first time since 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Centre has given a go ahead to the intelligence agencies to release 26 Pakistani prisoners, arrested in Jammu and Kashmir and lodged in three different jails of the State besides a police station, says a media report.
Acting swiftly, the intelligence agencies have dispatched 26 Pakistani prisoners to Amritsar district jail along with their all documents for consular access by Pakistani authorities.
The prisoners, hailing from different provinces of Pakistan besides Pak Occupied Kashmir were on Tuesday taken out of Central Jail, Kot Bhalwal, Jammu, District Jail, Ambphalla, Jammu, Central Jail Srinagar and police station Uri, amidst tight security arrangements and were driven to Amritsar where they would be provided consular access by the Pakistan authorities on Wednesday morning.
Among the 26 are five militants, the official said. Three of them are from Pakistan and the rest are from POK. Some of the Pakistani prisoners, set to be freed shortly, were militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits, official sources said.
The consular access is provided by the staff of Pakistan's External Affairs Ministry.
"Only after Pakistan's Foreign Ministry identified the Pakistani nationals that they would be handed over to Pakistan authorities at Wagah border in Amritsar district after few days", sources said.
The prisoners would be brought back after two days stay in Amritsar jail during which Pakistan authorities would verify their credentials.
Pakistan would report back to the Indian government confirming or denying identity of their nationals. Only those Pakistani prisoners, whose nationality is confirmed by Pakistan Government, would be repatriated from Wagah on a date mutually fixed by the two Governments.
Simultaneously, the Indian side is also expecting release of Indian detenus languishing in Pakistani jails for past quite some time. However, Pakistan authorities have not conveyed any date so far to the Indian side for consular access of prisoners of this side.
The Five Pakistani prisoners being freed from Central Jail, Srinagar include : Shahzad Khan alias Capt Abdullah Umar s/p Nawab Khan R/o Rawlakote, PoK, Fakhar-ul-Zaman Khokher alias Fakhar (code name Abu Tallah) s/o Inayatullah R/o Gujranwala, Syed Moin Ullah Shah s/o Mian Badshah Rawan R/o NWFP, Qari Mohammad Ismail s/o Wali Mohammad Khosa R/o Sindh and Qasim Shah Badshah alias Badshah alias Janbaz Askari alias Gul Khan s/o Syed Fazal Shah Badshah R/o Peshawar.
The Pakistani to be released from Uri police station has been identified as Kapoor Jan wife of Yaqboob Mir, a resident of PoK, an illegal border crosser. Only prisoner to be freed from District Jail, Ambphalla, Jammu was Wali Mohammad (code name Uncle Babar) son of Mohammad Ibrahim R/o Karachi.
Nineteen prisoners, set to gain freedom from Central Jail, Kot Bhalwal, Jammu are: Zaheer Abbassi s/o Akhtar Abbasi R/o Muzaffarabad, Mohammad Hashim Khan (code Darwash) s/o Umar Hayat Khan R/o Balochistan, Mohammad Imran Bhar alias Umer Saini s/o Mohammad Jameel Bhat R/o Punjab, Atta Arif s/o Attaullah R/o Narowal, Mubashir Ali Shah s/o Younis Ali Shah R/o Sialkote, Ahsan Shah s/o Arif Shah R/o Sialkote, Mohammad Ismail Chohan s/o Alam Din R/o Muzaffarabad and Mohammad Yaseen Niyazi s/o Mohammad Hanief R/o Sialkote.
Mohammad Aslam Khokher s/o of Khair-ud-Din, Arabi Ishaq Teli alias Arabi s/o Sadiq Teli and Abdul Razzaq Mughal Pathan s/o Mohammad Bhoota, all residents of Sialkote, Anwar Massih s/o Mukhtiyar Massih R/o Shakergarh, Narowal, Riyaz Ahmad s/o Fayyaz Ahmad R/o Mehrabal, Latief Ahmad Mir s/o Arif-ud-Din Mir R/o Kirni, PoK, Mohammad Banaras Khan s/o Mohammad Bashir R/o PoK, Nadeem Akhtar s/o Akbar Ali R/o Shakergarh, Mohammad Khalid Javaid s/o Mohammad Akbar Ali R/o Bhawalpur, Sher Ali s/o Yaseen Ali R/o Pakistan and Nazar Mohammad s/o Lal Mohammad R/o Kotli, PoK.
According to sources, majority of Pakistani prisoners, taken for consular access, have been detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) at present pending deportation. Their PSA would be revoked as soon as the Pakistan authorities confirmed their nationality and a day is fixed for their deportation.
This is for the first time after 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that the government has decided to release 26 Pakistani prisoners including the militants, who have completed their sentences. During last 10 months, authorities in J & K under instructions from the Centre had stopped consular access to the Pakistani prisoners.