ISLAMABAD : Pakistan has decided to release 291 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture, who had been detained for intrusion into Pakistani waters for illegal fishing, the foreign office said Thursday.
The Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said the Indian fishermen will be released on humanitarian grounds in two phases on December 29, 2017 and January 08, 2018 via Wagah Border.
Earlier, Pakistan had also released 68 Indian fishermen on 27 October 2017.
“Pakistan has always maintained that humanitarian issues should be facilitated and not politicized,” the spokesman said at his weekly briefing in Islamabad.
Pakistan and India routinely arrest fishermen who cross water boundaries for illegal fishing, but the two bitter neighbors have not yet reached an agreement on maritime boundaries.
Pakistan had also freed a group of 78 Indian fishermen in July this year.
The latest decision to release the Indian fishermen came amid tension over the cross-border firing, which cause casualties on both sides along the Line of Control. Pakistan officials insist Indian border forces target civilian population that receive befitting response.
In another positive development Pakistan on Wednesday issued visas to the wife and mother of Indian national Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav, who has been handed down death penalty for “spying and terrorism,” to meet him next week, according to the Foreign Office.
Jadhav, “an agent of the intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)” was arrested on March 3, 2016 in Balochistan Province.
The Foreign Office spokesman said on his official Twitter that the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi issued the visas to the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav to visit Islamabad to meet him.
Faisal said earlier that the visit of Jadhav’s mother and wife would happen on December 25.
A diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will be allowed to accompany the visitors and that requisite security would be provided to the visitors, according to the spokesman.
Orignally published by NNI