KARACHI/NEW DELHI: At least 11 Pakistani fishermen, including three teenagers, have been apprehended by the Indian authorities from Pakistani waters, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) said on Wednesday.
According to the PFF, the fishermen were onboard a boat ‘Al-Shehnaz’ and were fishing in the deep sea within the limits of Pakistani waters at Qadar Creek, when they were detained by Indian authorities on February 6.
All the fishermen — Abdul Ghafoor, Abdul Razak, Ali Asghar, Hussain, Abu Bakar, Mohammad, Ali Mohammad, Sikandar, Siddique, 15, Abdul Aziz, 13, and Jameel, 11 — belong to same village, Haji Yousaf Katyar, located in taluka Kharo Chhan in district Thatta.
Meanwhile, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) confirmed that it intercepted a Pakistani fishing boat and arrested 11 fishermen on February 6 after their ship ‘illegally’ entered into Indian maritime boundary. However, the ICG denied that any minor was onboard the ship.
“A fishing boat from Pakistan measuring 40 feet in length was intercepted by the ICG off Jakhau coast in Kutch district, five nautical miles into Indian waters,” an ICG official, Captain Abhishek Matiman, told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.
Ghulam Mohammad Katyra, a relative of the fishermen, said the fishermen were apprehended in the open sea. “The boat left the area on the first day of the month and was apprehended on 6 February in the open sea,” he said.
The PFF chief Mohammad Ali Shah said fishermen of both the countries were detained while fishing in the open sea. Shah said both Pakistan and India violate UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2016.