The Sindh Home Department on Saturday issued orders for the release and repatriation of 442 Indian fishermen, including two minors, to their country. They have been under detention in four jails of the province at District Jail Malir, Karachi Nara Jail Hyderabad, District Jail Badin and District Jail Naushero Feroz.
The provincial Home department has ordered the release and repatriation of these Indian fishermen in batches. From District Jail Malir, Karachi, 100 Indian fishermen, including two minors, will be repatriated. Another 100 fishermen will be repatriated from Nara Jail Hyderabad, followed by a further 101 detained fishermen from District Jail Badin. District Jail Naushehro Feroz will release 141 fishermen, bringing the total number of repatriation to 442.
A copy of the notification directing their release was received by former Attorney-General and federal minister Iqbal Haider and by the jail authorities concerned.
The release and repatriation of the first batch of the detained Indian fisherman will commence from August 30 at 8 am.
The Executive Director of PILER Karamat Ali hoped that India would reciprocate this gesture of goodwill by releasing over 150 Pakistani fishermen.
They also reiterated their demand that arrest of the fishermen by both Indian and Pakistani maritime security agencies and Navies near Sir Creek must be stopped forthwith and a mechanism evolved so in case of violation of un-demarcated borders in the Arabian Sea by fishermen, they should be released after warnings.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2010.
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