A special PIA flight brought back 41 Pakistani prisoners from Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning, confirmed the national carrier.
PK-9873 brought the prisoners from Colombo to Islamabad. They had been imprisoned in Sri Lanka on different charges.
The medical checkup and screening of the prisoners were conducted after their arrival. They have been shifted to the anti-human smuggling cell, the airport authorities said.
The plane was, however, sent to bring back 44 prisoners but only 41 have returned. The reason why three prisoners weren’t brought back home has yet to be revealed.
“The prisoners will now serve their remaining sentences at home where their families will be able to visit them,” said the Justice Project Pakistan in a statement.
This is the first repatriation in seven years under the bilateral prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) signed by the two countries in 2004. “Pakistanis imprisoned abroad can be repatriated through bilateral agreements to transfer prisoners, allowing them to serve their remaining sentences closer to their families,” the JPP said.
The JPP said that 87 Pakistani were imprisoned in Sri Lanka for various crimes. Currently, there are more than 11,000 Pakistanis imprisoned abroad. “These Pakistanis face the harshest punishments in foreign courts due to their lack of understanding of and assistance with the legal process, incapability to communicate directly with the court, and inability to produce evidence from Pakistan in their defense.”