Islamabad: India's Coast Guard and Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency announced on Saturday that the two would work on setting up the mechanism for "release of inadvertent crossers (fishermen) and their boats on the same lines as the inadvertent crossers on land.

The statement was issued at the conclusion of a visit to Pakistan by Indian members of
the Judicial Committee on Prisoners. The decision came in wake of the meeting of the Home and Interior Secretaries in New Delhi last month.
 
The two coastal security agencies will submit their report on this matter to the Home and Interior Secretaries before the next round of talks between the two officials, the statement said on Friday.

An Indian official after the meeting said the two sides were considering a proposal whereby first time offenders would be freed at sea without any lengthy legal procedures.
The Coast Guard and MSA would work out modalities for this proposal, said the official who did not want to be named.

The official further said top Pakistani officials and leaders who had meet the Indian members of the Judicial Committee had showed a "genuine desire" to ensure the speedy
release of all prisoners.
   
The Indian members of the Judicial Committee included retired Justices Nagendra Rai, Amarjeet Chaudhary, A S Gill and M A Khan, who visited jails in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi where Indian nationals are being held.

There were a total of 260 Indian fishermen at the Malir Jail and a juvenile detention centre in Karachi and over 230 other Indian nationals at two prisons in Lahore and Rawalpindi, the Indian official said.

The Judicial Committee was, by and large, satisfied with the condition and treatment of the Indian prisoners. During the visit, the two sides shared lists of Indian prisoners and fishermen, the joint statement said.

The Committee also suggested that the next visit to Indian jails panel will be scheduled by June.

(Agencies)