Authorities release 68 India fishermen, 61 Afghan nationals as ‘goodwill gesture’


Pakistan authorities have released 68 Indian fishermen and from Karachi’s Landhi jail — held for violating territorial waters from Karachi — on Sunday as a gesture of goodwill.

The fishermen boarded a train to Lahore from where they would be taken to the Wagah border and handed over to Indian authorities. “We got orders from the Interior Ministry on Saturday to release the Indian fishermen,” Sindh province’s Home Department official Naseem Siddiqui said.

The fishermen were taken in covered police vans in full security to the railway station, where volunteers of the Edhi Foundation distributed cash and gifts among the fishermen who were overjoyed to be returning home. The prison warden, as quoted by a private media outlet, said the fishermen were also given Ajraks–traditional Sindhi shawls.

Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid being drifting away. The Pakistan Maritime Security Force has in recent days made several arrests of Indian fishermen who have been sent to judicial custody.

Pakistan sets free 61 Afghan nationals: Meanwhile,  Karachi’s Superintendent District Jail Malir Afaq Sami said the 61 Afghan nationals, imprisoned under various charges, were released on Saturday and have been taken to Quetta, from where they will leave for Afghanistan through Chaman border.