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India Announces Release of Pakistani Prisoners


Indian officials say they will free at least 40 Pakistani prisoners in an effort to improve relations between the rival neighbors.

India's External Affairs Ministry says the prisoners will be released to Pakistani authorities Saturday at the Wagah border in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Among those to be freed are 10 fishermen.

Officials also have pledged to repatriate 48 other jailed fishermen as soon as they confirm their nationalities.

The Indian government says it is committed to the early release and repatriation of all Pakistani nationals who have completed their prison terms.

India and Pakistan routinely arrest each other's fishermen for border violations and spying charges. The two nations have exchanged hundreds of prisoners in their Punjab regions, as part of the ongoing peace process.

Both Pakistan and India claim they have hundreds of nationals jailed in each other's countries.

Earlier this year, the countries set up a panel of retired judges to ensure more humane treatment of prisoners.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.