Pakistan frees 40 Indian prisoners

Published: November 28, 2014
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A file photo of Inidian fishermen detained by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of Inidian fishermen detained by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistani on Friday announced the release of 40 Indian prisoners, including 35 fishermen held for violating territorial waters, a day after a major South Asian summit closed.

The fishermen – who had been detained for between one and three years – will travel from Karachi to Lahore, where the two neighbours and arch-rivals have their only active border crossing.

The move came a day after the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Nepal ended in disappointment, overshadowed by India and Pakistan’s rivalry.

“Pakistan is releasing 40 Indian prisoners (5 civilians and 35 fishermen) tomorrow. With this, (the) number of Indian prisoners released this year will be 191,” the main foreign ministry spokesperson said via a recognised Twitter account.

A week ago Pakistan detained 60 Indian fishermen for straying into its waters.

Such arrests are frequently carried out by both countries, as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

The fishermen often languish in jail even after serving their term, as poor diplomatic ties between the two arch-rivals mean fulfilling official requirements can take a long time.

The superintendent of Malir district jail in Karachi – where the fishermen were held – Muhammad Hassan Sehto said 424 Indians nationals including 419 fishermen are still in custody.

Relations between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have taken a turn for the worse in recent months, with some of the worst shelling in years along the Kashmir disputed border.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Concerned
    Nov 28, 2014 - 11:21AM

    Looks like Confdence building measures have started. The biggest CBM will be the silence of guns at LOC and Working boundary

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  • ali
    Nov 28, 2014 - 12:05PM

    don’t arrest illegally !!

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  • wb
    Nov 28, 2014 - 12:30PM

    Good.

    And I urge Indian government to release Pakistani fishermen as soon as they’re caught.

    Don’t wait for Pakistan to act. India must unilaterally and always release Pak fishermen as soon as questioning is complete.

    Poor hardworking fishermen of any country shouldn’t suffer.

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  • Stranger
    Nov 28, 2014 - 1:52PM

    Whewww one of the rare sensible moves between the two sides of the subcontinent – much applauded .

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  • oBSERVER
    Nov 28, 2014 - 2:53PM

    This is in return for Modi handshake. No self respect by NS as usual. Family Business comes first.

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  • Anand
    Nov 28, 2014 - 9:02PM

    Unreserved congrats to Pakistan. India should reciprocate in full measure.

    @wb

    Well said.

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