Pak­istan re­leases In­dian fish­er­men

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pak­istan re­leased 220 In­dian fish­er­men yes­ter­day as a good­will ges­ture aimed at eas­ing ten­sions with its neigh­bor, of­fi­cials said. The men were ar­rested more than a year ago, ac­cused of en­ter­ing Pak­istani wa­ters in an area of the Ara­bian Sea where the border is un­clear.

In­dia is also hold­ing Pak­istani fish­er­men for the same rea­son and Pak­istan hopes its ges­ture - on the birthday of the na­tion’s fa­ther, Muham­mad Ali Jin­nah, which co­in­cides with Christ­mas Day - will be re­cip­ro­cated. “We have to­tal of 518 In­dian fish­er­men out of which 220 are be­ing re­leased to­day as a good­will ges­ture of the Pak­istan govern­ment. In the next phase, 219 fish­er­men will be re­leased on Jan. 5,” Shu­nail Hu­sain Shah, a po­lice as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent, told Reuters.

Re­la­tions be­tween the nu­clear-armed neigh­bors have been more fraught than usual since a crack­down by In­dian forces on dis­sent in In­dian-con­trolled Kash­mir be­gan in July. In Septem­ber mil­i­tants killed 18 sol­diers at an In­dian army base, an at­tack New Delhi blamed on Pak­istan.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate Pak­istan’s good­will ges­ture of re­leas­ing In­dian fish­er­men, but we ex­pect a sim­i­lar re­cip­ro­cal move by In­dia, 156 Pak­istani fish­er­men in­clud­ing 13 chil­dren are lan­guish­ing in In­dian jails,” Muham­mad Ali Shah, pres­i­dent of Pak­istan Fisher Folk, a fish­er­men’s rights body told Reuters. —Reuters

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