Hours after India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar claimed efforts were on to secure the release of a soldier allegedly detained by Pakistan, the Indian Coast Guards claimed to have apprehended nine crew members on board a Pakistani boat from Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast.
According to The Hindu, preliminary investigation suggested all crew members were fishermen who inadvertently crossed into Indian waters.
“The boat and the crew members are being escorted to Porbandar for further investigation,” a statement by the defence PRO wing commander said.
China blocks river, sets off alarm bells in India
Relations between the two nuclear-armed south Asia neighbours have plummeted since India claimed to have carried out “surgical strikes” into temporary militant camps inside the Pakistani territory on Wednesday.
Pakistan flatly denied the Indian claims, saying two of its soldiers were killed from unprovoked cross-border firing at the Line of Control (LoC) by Indian security forces.
Pakistan and India frequently arrest fishermen as the maritime border in Arabian sea is poorly defined and many boats lack the technology to be aware of their precise location. Recently, Pakistan released more than 300 Indian fishermen who had completed their term while over 400 others are currently in Karachi prisons.
Pakistan rejects Indian claim
Meanwhile, Pakistan has rejected India's claim of capturing a Pakistani boat and its fishermen.
According to Radio Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesperson has made it clear that neither any Pakistani boat nor fishermen were missing.
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