Pakistan to release 291 Indian fishermen in two phases as goodwill gesture, says interior ministry

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it will release 291 Indian fishermen, held for allegedly violating its territorial waters, as a goodwill gesture.

 Pakistan to release 291 Indian fishermen in two phases as goodwill gesture, says interior ministry

Representational image. PTI

The fishermen will be released in two phases on 29 December and 8 January via Wagah Border, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.

Earlier on 27 October, Pakistan released 68 Indian fishermen.

According to an official report released early in December, more than 500 Indians, mostly fishermen, are languishing in various jails in Pakistan.

The Interior Ministry said there were a total of 996 foreign nationals, including 527 Indians, in Pakistani jails. They have been imprisoned for alleged involvement in various crimes, including terrorism, murder, drug smuggling, and for entering the country illegally.

Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently taken into custody for illegally fishing in each other's territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats, used by them, lack the technology to avoid drifting away.

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2017 16:03:31 IST