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Pakistan to release 86 Indian fishermen

165 Days ago

Ahmedabad, March 14 (IANS) Pakistan will likely release 86 more Indian fishermen from Karachi jail on March 21, official sources said on Monday.

A senior Fisheries Department official said a majority of these 86 fishermen hail from Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

They would be brought to Gujarat through the Wagha-Attari border near Amritsar in Punjab.

According to the officials, these fishermen were apprehended along with their boats near the International Maritime Boundary Line by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) over the past one year.

Officials said the PMSA blamed the fishermen for entering Pakistani waters.

Just a week ago, the neighbouring country released 87 Indian fishermen from the same Karachi jail.

Fishermen claimed that their boats sometimes drift into Pakistani waters while fishing but there were instances when PMSA personnel seized Indian boats and fishermen in Indian waters too.

They complained that Pakistan regularly released Indian fishermen but was yet to return 860 Indian fishing trawlers seized in the past.

In fact, the Porbandar Fishermen Boat Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue of Indian fishermen's seized boats and trawlers which are their livelihood.

"There are 18 other fishermen lodged in Pakistan jails for nearly three years. These fishermen have also requested for their release along with the 86 fishermen," said Manish Lodhari, secretary of National Fishworker Forum.

He said these 18 fishermen have also written to authorities in India and Pakistan for their release.

As of now, nearly 400 fishermen are lodged in Pakistan jails, Lodhari said. (IANS)

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