KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday released 48 Indian fishermen from Malir district jail in Karachi. The Pakistan government had ordered release of the prisoners out of the 80 jailed as a goodwill gesture on the eve of Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna’s visit.
The freed fishermen also include 14 Muslims.
Inspector General Prisons Mahmood Siddiqui and representatives of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and the Legal Aid Organisation were present at the time of the release.
The prisoners were sent off in two buses for Lahore from where they will be handed over to the Indian authorities at Wagah border on Tuesday. The buses were arranged by Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid’s Legal Aid organisation.
IG Prisons Siddiqui told the media that now only 32 Indian prisoners remain in Malir Jail and they would also be released soon.
The sister of an Indian prisoner Shaikh Habib, Rukhsana, is married and settled in Karachi since the last 35 years and was present to see off her brother.
Rukhsana said that she learnt about the arrest of her brother after two months of his detention and since then she had been visiting Malir Jail daily and used to take food and clothes for him.
The 22-year-old Sobash, who was caught along with his boat named ‘Jeewan Sagar’ said that he had spent about six months in the Malir Jail. Another fisherman, Muhammad Ibrahim Bahlem who owned a boat named ‘Nat Raj’ said that he was caught along with five other crew members.
Sultan Memon of PFF said on this occasion that 650 Indian fishermen have been released so far by Pakistan, but India has not considered releasing even 150 Pakistani fishermen.