ISLAMABAD    -  A chartered flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Wednesday brought back as many as 44 Pakistani prisoners from Sri Lankan to complete their remaining jail term in the country.

These prisoners convicted in Sri Lanka on different charges were brought back in accordance with a bilateral agreement on the transfer of offenders signed between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2004, official sources have informed The Nation. 

Following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “compassionate governance policy”, Pakistani prisoners have been repatriated from Sri Lanka and this is the “1st repatriation of its kind since the bilateral agreement in 2004”, said Sayed  Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis.

The Ministry of Interior had made special arrangements for the chartered flight. The ministry had assigned special duties of the officials of FIA, NADRA and other government departments to facilitate repatriation of these Pakistani prisoners.

An inter-agency coordination in this regard was made with NADRA, FIA, PIA and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Under the transfer of prisoners agreement, those convicts are allowed to repatriate in cases where sentences exceed a minimum of six months.

The interior ministry in a meeting held on October 29 had finalized the plan for arrangement of flight, verification of prisoners and their safe shifting in Pakistan.