India, Pak embassies in UAE to act on prisoner treaty allowing serving sentences at home

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 10:41 hrs

The Indian and Pakistani Embassies in the UAE will soon take action to transfer prisoners of their nationalities in jails here, who want to serve the rest of their sentence at home.

More than 1,800 Indian and Pakistani prisoners in UAE jails will be eligible to benefit from a treaty ratified by the UAE cabinet on Sunday, the Gulf News reports.

The UAE signed the agreement for exchanging sentenced prisoners with India in November 2011 and Pakistan in February this year. With the ratification of the treaty by the UAE Cabinet, procedures to exchange the prisoners are expected to begin soon.

It is the choice of the prisoners whether to spend the remaining jail term, if more than six months, in their home country.

However, suspects undergoing trial cannot be transferred. Inmates convicted under military laws, cases related to sovereignty of the nation and those who have financial obligations under judicial orders are also not eligible for transfer under the treaty.

Indian Ambassador to the UAE, M.K Lokesh, said that after getting a formal communication from the UAE Government about the ratification of the treaty, the embassy would take necessary steps to transfer the prisoners.

He stated that there are about 1,200 Indian prisoners in UAE jails and 90 per cent of them are convicts who can choose to spend the remaining jail term in India.

Jamil Ahmad Khan, Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE, said: "I am also awaiting formal communication from the UAE about the number of Pakistani prisoners, but there are about 1,400 including seven woman, according to our embassy's estimate. About 800 of them are convicts who are eligible to benefit from the treaty."

The embassy will bear the costs of the flight tickets of prisoners who want to be transferred to Pakistani jails, and is fully prepared to send the first batch of prisoners next month. (ANI)

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