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Release all Indian fisherman: India to Pak

india Updated: Mar 21, 2008 21:41 IST
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India on Friday described as "most unfortunate" the death of a fisherman in a Pakistani jail and asked Islamabad to release all other fishermen by month-end as per the recommendations of a joint judicial committee of the two countries.

"The death of the fisherman is most unfortunate," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said in reponse to a question about the demise of Laksman Kanji in a jail in Karachi a few days back.

Sarna said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad is making arrangements for the body to be brought back home.

Prison authorities in Karachi said Kanji had died due to 'cardiac arrest' but India is seeking to know the exact cause of the death of the fisherman who was in the jail since February 10, 2006.

"We are ascertaining the cause of the death through Pakistani authorities," the spokesman said.

New Delhi also wants Islamabad to release all the 372 Indian fishermen lodged in Pakistani jails at the earliest.

"We hope all fishermen in Pakistani jails will be released by the end of the month as per the recommendations of the joint Judicial Committee," Sarna said referring to the panel set up the two countries to study the conditions of prisoners in the two countries.

A Pakistani prisoner Khalid Mehmood died in a prison in Haryana last month apparently due to liver problem. Pakistan has asked India to investigate the matter.