PAKISTAN has released 145 Indian fishermen from jail as a goodwill gesture and promised to set free dozens more on Jan. 8.
Analysts believe these “small gestures” might help in placating tensioN amid a verbal spat between Islamabad and New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has “regretted” India’s prevention of 192 Pakistani pilgrims’ from visiting New Delhi to participate in the Urs celebrations of a revered Sufi saint.
The released Indian fishermen were handed over to Indian authorities at a Wagha-Attari border crossing near Lahore.
These fishermen were held in Malir prison in Karachi for illegally fishing in Pakistani territorial waters. Pakistan decided on Dec. 21 to release and repatriate 291 Indian fishermen in two phases starting on Dec. 29.
Both Pakistan and India frequently take fishermen into custody for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters because the wooden boats used by these fishermen lack the technology to avoid drifting away across unclearly defined maritime borders.