Pakistani authorities have released 68 Indian fishermen and 61 Afghan nationals as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to the two neighbouring countries.
Speaking to Express News on Sunday, Karachi’s Superintendent District Jail Malir Afaq Sami said the 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.
Meanwhile, 68 Indian fishermen, arrested for violating Pakistan’s territorial waters, were released in a modest ceremony organised at Landhi Jail in Karachi on Sunday. The prison warden told the media that the fishermen were also given Ajraks – traditional Sindhi shawls – among other gifts on the occasion.
He said the fishermen have been taken to the Cantonment Railway Station, from where they would board a train to Lahore and cross the Wagah border into India.
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.
Fishermen often languish in jails even after serving their term due to strained diplomatic ties between the two arch-rivals, which make fulfilling of official requirements a ‘time consuming’ task.
However, authorities in the two countries release a few of these poor fishermen from time to time as ‘goodwill gesture’.