Pakistan and Britain have signed an agreement allowing prisoners from each others' countries to return home to serve their sentences.

British High Commissioner Robert Brinkley and Pakistani Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah signed the Prisoner Transfer Agreement Friday in Islamabad.

Brinkley said transferring prisoners to their countries of origin would help maintain family ties and remove cultural barriers, which would make rehabilitation easier.

More than 400 Pakistani nationals are held in British prisons, while at least seven British nationals are imprisoned in Pakistan. Prisoners will have the option of blocking their repatriation.

British concerns over Pakistan's use of the death penalty, which is banned in Britain, has hampered agreement on a separate extradition treaty.

The British high commissioner said both countries are facing the threat of terrorism.

Britain has prisoner transfer agreements with almost 100 countries and territories.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.