As a goodwill gesture on the occasion of 'Vijay Divas' marking the victory of the Indian armed forces in the Kargil war, India on Tuesday set free 91 Pakistani nationals including 87 fishermen, most of them residents of Karachi and other coastline areas of Pakistan.
They were handed over to Pakistan Rangers by Border Security Force (BSF) at this joint border check post. All of them were set free after having served their jail sentences ranging from two to three years.
The fishermen were transported to the check post from prisons in Gujarat. Among the other prisoners, two were freed from the Amritsar Central Jail while one each was set free from jails in Sirsa and Sangrur. The two who were brought from the Amritsar Central Jail were Nazir Ahmed and Sajid Ali, both of whom were arrested under the Indian Passport Act.
The fishermen, many of them youths were overjoyed to go home and begin life once again. They had all been arrested at one time or the other by the Indian Coast Guard after they had strayed into Indian waters in the Arabian Sea.
Like their Indian counterparts, these fishermen demanded that India and Pakistan should have some form of demarcation in the Arabian Sea so that they do not inadvertently stray into each others waters. They pointed out that with their boats and fishing equipment with the Indian authorities they would now have to again start their business from scratch.