Pak frees 147 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture

ANI | Updated: Jan 07, 2018 17:09 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], Jan 7 (ANI): Pakistan on Sunday released at least 147 Indian fishermen, held for trespassing into its territorial waters, from Karachi's Malir Jail as a goodwill gesture.

According to the Dawn, the process of releasing the fishermen, who were jailed eight months ago by the Pakistani coastguards, has been initiated. They are currently on their way to Lahore on the Allama Iqbal Express. The train left at 2 pm from the Karachi Cantonment railway station.

The officials said that once the fishermen reach Lahore, they will cross the Wagah Border and return to their homes in India. The travel expenses of the fishermen are being borne by the Edhi Foundation. Another 262 Indian fishermen are still languishing in the Malir jail.

Superintendent of Malir Jail Hassan Sehto told the Dawn: "The prisoners are being kept in good conditions here. Non-Muslims are granted religious freedom as well. We want the message to spread that Pakistanis can take care of the fishermen before they reach India".

"Never in our history, have an Indian prisoner and a Pakistani prisoner fought. In fact, the Pakistani prisoners share with the Indians, things that their families bring for them when they visit them in jail", Sehto added.

Indian and Pakistani fishermen occasionally stray into each other country's waters during their fishing trips and are caught and put into jails for a longer period of time.

Many civil society organisations around the world have been urging the governments of both India and Pakistan to enter into an agreement for defining and enforcing the international maritime laws.

However, this decision is yet to be reached and fishermen of both the countries continue to suffer. (ANI)