Detainee Exchange

Soldiers in the Hajin area of Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district Feb. 22. Foreign Secretary Khawaja Asif says Pakistan has approved India’s proposal to exchange detainees. (IANS photo)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan says it's approved India's proposals for exchanges of civilian detainees, a statement believed to be mainly related to those held over the Kashmir conflict.

Foreign Secretary Khawaja Asif says he hopes such initiatives would help Pakistan and India make efforts to de-escalate the situation in the disputed region.

India proposed the exchanges on "humanitarian grounds" would include women, mentally ill or disabled people, and the elderly held by either side.

The March 7 statement says Pakistan proposed the exchanges be extended to include those under 18 and over 60 years of age.

It doesn't specify whether all the detainees are from Kashmir.

Islamabad and New Delhi each claim Kashmir in its entirety. The nuclear-armed rivals have gone to war over the region twice since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.

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