India on Thursday asked Pakistan to repatriate two Indians arrested on charges of entering the country illegally, and hoped that they are not used for Pakistani propaganda.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the sudden arrest of Prashant Vaindam and Dhari Lal as reported by Pakistani media came as a surprise to India as Islamabad was informed months ago about their possible crossing over to that country inadvertently.
"We hope that these two Indian nationals are not used or they do not become victim of Pakistani propaganda," he said.
He said following the reports in Pakistani media about the arrests, India approached Pakistan and requested it for immediate consular access for them.
"We also requested for their safety and security and also early repatriation," he said at a media briefing.
Mr Kumar said India had informed Pakistan in December last about Lal's possible crossing over to that country while information about Vaindam was conveyed in May 2019.
"Since then, we did not get any response to our note verbale," he said.
"When it came out in the media, we approached the Pakistan government on the same day and requested for immediate consular access to them," said Kumar.
He said there were many other Indians who may have inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan.
"When such incidents come to our notice, we approach Pakistan," he said.
The Pakistani media reported earlier this week that the two Indians were arrested by Pakistani authorities for allegedly entering the country illegally.
Both were apprehended in the eastern city of Bahawalpur in Punjab province for staying in the country without proper documents, the reports quoted the police as saying.