Pakistan to release 200 Indian fishermen, three civilian prisoners: Foreign Minister
Pakistan will release 200 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners as a humanitarian gesture, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced on Friday.
Last month, Pakistani authorities released 198 Indian fishermen, languishing in a prison in Karachi after being arrested for allegedly fishing illegally in the country’s waters. They were handed over to India at the Wagah border.
“Today, Pakistan is releasing 200 Indian fishermen and 3 civilian prisoners. Earlier, 198 Indian fishermen were repatriated on May 12, 2023,” Bhutto Zardari said in a tweet. “This is in line with Pakistan’s policy of not politicising humanitarian matters. Compassion should take precedence over politics,” he added.
Edhi Foundation, which provides funds for the travel cost of the released prisoners from Karachi to Lahore, confirmed the fresh development. The prisoners will be handed over to the Indian authorities at the Wagah border, an official said.
Sources said Pakistan will release another batch of Indian fishermen in July as a goodwill gesture. Pakistan and India regularly arrest rival fishermen for violating the maritime boundary, which is poorly marked at some points.
(With agency inputs)