163 fishermen freed from Pakistan jails

KARACHI: Pakistan released 163 Indian fishermen on Sunday as a goodwill gesture following the meeting of two prime ministers in Ufa, Russia on the occasion of SCO summit, quite recently.

These fishermen were released from Landhi Jail Karachi, where Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) with Faisal Edhi received them and took them to Cantonment Railway Station for their departure for Lahore.

According to a PFF release, they proceeded to their journey by Allama Iqbal Train to reach Lahore on Monday and where from they will cross Wahga Border for going to their home areas.

PFF General Secretary Saeed Baloch and other activists were there. Latter, PFF in a statement issued on Sunday welcomed the decision of the Pakistan government and linked the hope with Indian government to respond similarly and release all the Pakistani fishermen languishing in their jails.

Saeed Baloch said there are 193 fishermen of India still languishing in Pakistani jails and expressed the hope they will go home soon after the new relationship between the two governments.

Similarly, Baloch said 99 fishermen of Pakistan with around 215 fishing boats are with India. Earlier, he said the India confirmed only 27 Pakistani fishermen with their custody. But, he said there are more people and PFF believes they must be in jails, because they had gone missing from the open sea. Justifying the case, he said the parents of some fishermen have received letters, which shows their presence in Indian jails.

He said both the governments, Pakistan and India should show broader mindedness and release all the fishermen with the similar spirit to strengthen bilateral ties to help each other. PFF leaders said the parents and relatives of Pakistani fishermen here are waiting to see their loved ones.

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