KARACHI: Three out of five fishermen who had gone missing after the May 1999 cyclone hit the coastal areas of Thatta and Badin returned home on Saturday night.
The fishermen were caught by Indian forces after the cyclone had pushed their fishing boats across the border.
The released fishermen were identified as Meenh Wasayo, son of Allah Wasayo, and two brothers Siddiq and Achar, sons of Umar.
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) spokesperson Sami Memon said they three were among 22 Pakistani citizens, including 14 fishermen, who had been handed over to Pakistani authorities on July 30, 2013 at the Wagha border.
The fishermen were allowed to go home after they were investigated by the Pakistani authorities.
A crowd of friends and relatives thronged to greet the relatives who had arrived after a period of 15 years in the Ibrahim Hyderi area of Karachi.
Two of their fellow fishermen, Hussain Walri and Hanif Murghar, were fined Rs100,000 each by the Indian court and were jailed when they were unable to pay.
PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah also visited the released fishermen along with other members of his organisation.
Shah criticised the indifferent approach of the government authorities to not keep the relatives of the fishermen and PFF informed of the fishermen's arrival at the Wagha border.
One of the released fishermen, Achar has one daughter. She was six months old when Achar got arrested and is now married.
The fishermen had been missing since the cyclone and Indian authorities had refused to confirm their presence.
The families had received a letter from the fishermen in Ahmedabad Jail in India, five years after they had gone missing which had made them expect their arrival.
PFF chairperson Shah asked the Pakistan government to resolve the trans-boundary issue, particularly that of Sir Creek, where fishermen are arrested and put in jails for years by the border authorities of Pakistan and India.
He termed the issue as a humanitarian one and urged the need to resolve it.
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