87 Indian fishermen released by Pakistan in goodwill gesture

  • PTI, Karachi
  • Updated: Mar 06, 2016 20:43 IST
A fisherman from India looks on from behind the bars of his cell at a police station in Karachi, Pakistan, October 5, 2015. (REUTERS)

In a goodwill gesture, Pakistan on Sunday released 87 Indian fishermen arrested for allegedly violating its territorial waters and would free 86 others later this month.

The fishermen, who had been languishing in prison for the last two and half years, were released from Landhi Jail and will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border.

Faisal Edhi, who heads private charity the Edhi Foundation, arranged the train journey for the fishermen today and gave them gifts and some cash.

Jail superintendent of Landhi Jail Shakir Shah told PTI that 86 more Indian fishermen would be released on March 20.

He said a total of around 536 Indian fishermen were in jail, serving varying terms for violation of Pakistani territorial waters.

Fishermen are frequently arrested along with their boats by both India and Pakistan as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined, and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

Some of them spend years in jail before being repatriated.

In the past the two nations have released each other’s fishermen as goodwill gestures.

Although in December, India and Pakistan had agreed to revive the dialogue process when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad for a summit, but the same month 66 Indian fishermen were arrested by Pakistan.

In January, another 45 Indian fishermen were arrested for allegedly violating Pakistan’s territorial waters

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