Pakistan frees Indian fishermen amid LoC tensions

By AFP
Published: August 23, 2013
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Indian fishermen hold up documents as they wait for transport after their release from prison in Karachi on August 23, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Indian fishermen hold up documents as they wait for transport after their release from prison in Karachi on August 23, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan on Friday released nearly 340 Indian fishermen held for violating territorial waters, amid high tensions over the Line of Control (LoC).

The move is part of an understanding between the two countries to release citizens who mistakenly stray into each other’s waters.

“Today, we have released 337 Indian fishermen and seven other juveniles and they are leaving for Lahore,” where they will be handed to Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing on Saturday, Shuja Haider, a senior official at Karachi’s Malir jail, told AFP.

The release had been sped up as a goodwill gesture to India, officials said.

Sporadic firing in recent weeks across the heavily militarised LoC, the de facto border in Kashmir, has sent tensions between the neighbours soaring.

The latest round was triggered by a raid on August 5 that left five Indian soldiers dead, blamed by Delhi on the Pakistani military. Islamabad has denied the claims and struck a conciliatory tone, urging restraint and dialogue.

Fishermen from both countries are frequently held for straying across the disputed and poorly defined maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea.

After Friday’s release there are still 97 Indian fishermen and three other Indian nationals including a juvenile languishing in jails in Karachi.

Kousan Rama, 40, who had been held for the last year, said: “I am very happy to be going back home. My family will be delighted to see me back at home.”

He called for a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir dispute.

“We should live in harmony with each other like brothers, like friends and like good neighbours,” he added.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Ussama
    Aug 23, 2013 - 1:26PM

    I wonder what these Indian troll come up with now.

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  • soniya
    Aug 23, 2013 - 1:33PM

    so what?? after killing so many in jails pak is acting as if its doing a gr8 favour….huh

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  • Khan of Cape Town
    Aug 23, 2013 - 1:46PM

    Just visited all major newspapers in India, and couldn’t search this news; nobody seems to highlight such a positive gesture from both sides.

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  • Jatin
    Aug 23, 2013 - 1:49PM

    Thank you!!! This will go long way in reducing the tension at the border.

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  • Water Bottle
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:00PM

    Looks like Nawaz wants to become the next Gandhi.

    I think, India should cut him some slack and open up for talks.

    By not welcoming Nawaz, India is actually strengthening Pak army. Pak army does not want friendship between India and the Pak government.

    India should seize this opportunity, cut Pakistan some slack and reciprocate.

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  • Amir
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:27PM

    I still do not understand why Pakistan and India arrest each other fishermen. If they stray into each other terrirotry, escort them out.

    Am happy that these poor fishermen are going home.

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  • Blunt
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:33PM

    Let’s see what we get in return, hope it’s not as much dead bodies at LoC.

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  • sahil
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:39PM

    pak releases indians, indians kill pak soliders. Thank you Mr. Nawaz SharifRecommend

  • Rabbani
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:44PM

    As a reciprocal gesture, expect India to send us dead bodies of Pakistani prisoners, who may have been killed by some disgruntled Indian military officers.

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  • Salman
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:50PM

    Kill our army and we’d free your fishermen who voilated our water territory. #Pakistanlogic

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  • Lashari
    Aug 23, 2013 - 3:25PM

    Well done Pakistan :)

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  • Ahmad
    Aug 23, 2013 - 3:38PM

    News Item should also have mentioned the number of Pakistani FIshermen “Languishing” in Indian jails.

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  • Abdul Wahid
    Aug 23, 2013 - 3:55PM

    Pakistan Foreign policy is a gimmick 1 side the indians are killing our Army Jawans in Kashmir on daily basis and our Prime minister is trying his best not to upset manmohan singh by releasing these fisherman, is our government pro pakistani or pro indian?

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  • Mozzaffar Ekbaal
    Aug 23, 2013 - 4:38PM

    I expect India also will show the similar gesture as about 350 Pakistani fishermen are also detained in Indian jail.

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  • Ashok
    Aug 23, 2013 - 5:20PM

    Thank you Pakistan for releasing innocent fishermen crossing over inadvertently.Very nice and heartwarming act.Indian government must also release Pak fishermen in their jails.
    They are victims not perpetrators of a much larger issue ie distrust among neighbours,which needs a different solution.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 23, 2013 - 5:42PM

    India does not care about these goodwill gestures. Human life has no value in India where hundreds die every day with hunger.

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  • Punjabi
    Aug 23, 2013 - 6:01PM

    Please release Musharraf, these tactics for peace will not work.Recommend

  • Tom
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:03PM

    @Salman:

    India can arrest 5000 paki fishermen if it wants, tomorrow, but it doesn’t. So releasing Indian fishermen isn’t such a big deal or a tremendous goodwill on the part of pakistan.

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  • Babloo
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:12PM

    Good move.
    Hope India frees all Pakistani fishermen. One more than what Pakistan did.

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  • Indian
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:25PM

    First you pakistanis kidnap these innocent fishermen from our territorial water and then release them in a gimmick while supporting fundamentalist jihadi terrorist.

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  • Adnan
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:28PM

    They all look depressed- at the thought of being sent back to India!

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  • Asif Butt
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:29PM

    Dear Indians ,

    KEEP THE CHANGE !!!

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  • Punjabi
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:39PM

    @sahil:
    I wish Musharraf were in power.

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  • Aug 23, 2013 - 8:08PM

    @soniya: A good move should be appreciated. Definitely this will help release tension on LOC and media will highlight it . hope there is talk between the premiers on the sideline of United Nations General Assembly next month .

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  • Kiran
    Aug 23, 2013 - 8:27PM

    send Saeed also along with them. then we apprciate

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  • Rabbani
    Aug 23, 2013 - 9:58PM

    Khan of Cape Town

    Just visited all major newspapers in India, and couldn’t search this news; nobody seems to highlight such a positive gesture from both sides.

    Because Indian media would rather broadcast fiction about Pakistan, than report our goodwill gestures.

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  • Ashvinn
    Aug 23, 2013 - 10:06PM

    Good Move Pakistan.hmm how about handing mr Hafeez saeed as well we could have happily resolve all issues peacefully

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  • Khurram
    Aug 24, 2013 - 3:17AM

    now in reply India would kill 300 pak soldiers and civilians….good job Nawaz Sharif…can i send you a set of bangles??

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  • NuPak
    Aug 24, 2013 - 8:12AM

    Who is the big brother now?

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Aug 25, 2013 - 1:04PM

    But Indian forces shall never stop killings on LoC because India wants to show and prove itself superior than Pakistan in South East Asia whereas against China India’s policy is different and even China has been constructed its post within Indian territory and India couldn’t do any thing.How coward Indians are against China!!!!!

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