KARACHI- Pakistan on Sunday released 147 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters as a “goodwill gesture” to its nuclear-armed rival India, officials said. However over 400 Pakistani fare in Indian jails and many of whom have already completed their legal sentence.
“We released 147 Indian fishermen today as a goodwill gesture,” Superintendent Malir Jail Hassan Sehto told media. The freed fishermen are expected to cross over into India on Monday.
The travel expenses of the fishermen are being borne by the Edhi Foundation. Some 262 Indian fishermen remain imprisoned at Malir jail still, officials have said.
Indian and Pakistani fishermen are frequently detained for illegal fishing since the Arabian Sea border is not clearly defined and many boats lack the technology to fix their precise location.
The fishermen often languish in jail, even after serving their terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two neighbours mean fulfilling bureaucratic requirements can take a long time.
Kashmir is the bone of contention between two countries. The valley has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region.