Expedite Prisoner Swap

Expedite Prisoner Swap
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In a convoluted relationship defined by structural and historical animus whose edges are getting harder by the day, there are certain issues of a humanitarian nature that do not get the attention that they deserve. One such issue is that of prisoners across the India Pakistan divide. The reference here is to Pakistani prisoners incarcerated in India and Indian prisoners in Pakistani prisons. These people, regardless of the nature of their crimes, the merits and demerits thereof also are victims of the conflict in the sense of their incarceration away from their respective domiciles and homes. However, there might be some relief and reprieve for them on the anvil given that India and Pakistan have exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other’s jails as per the provisions of a bilateral agreement. There, however, is a potential problem and a downside to this. Usually and generally speaking, interstate agreements of this nature get bogged down in detail and bureaucratic issues of a nature that either gives short shrift to the agreements or get so prolonged and delayed , defeating their purpose in the process. Therefore, the it is imperative that the transfer of prisoners to their respective countries does not get dragged in process or bureaucratic wrangling. In terms of the plight of prisoners caught and thereby incarcerated in either India or Pakistan, it is something that demands and warrants empathy. In a sense, besides the fact of their imprisonment, they are trapped in milieus that are, given the nature of the relationship between India and Pakistan, hostile. This is an additional burden of an emotional and a psychological nature that these hapless prisoners have to bear and contend with. In lieu of this, there is a moral imperative to transfer prisoners across the divide to their respective countries. While the transfer might not be a clear cut right, but in terms of general morality and ethics, the transfer is highly prudent and recommended. Besides prudential grounds, there are logistical reasons as well that lend themselves to the recommendation of a transfer. Even though the process between India and Pakistan has been initiated, what is required, to repeat, is that the whole saga must not be lost in process. Moreover, if both countries are earnest about the initiative, then it must be expedited and cases disposed off on a fast track basis in the respective domiciles. This sort of relief is within the capacities of India and Pakistan and is perhaps owed to the hapless prisoners.

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