Pakistan, India need treaty on innocent people in jails: Daily

Islamabad, Feb 22 (IANS) Pakistan and India must have a treaty to ensure that innocent people do not languish in each other’s jails, said a Pakistani daily which noted that civilians are always going to be the victims in the tussle between the two countries.

An editorial “The smaller issues” in The Nation on Monday said that the clash between India and Pakistan keeps growing more tentacles and civilians are always going to be the victims.

The Maritime Security Agency (MSA) on Saturday arrested 88 Indian fishermen allegedly for fishing in Pakistani waters.

“With almost all talks regarding any sort of diplomacy between both countries failing, it is clear that instances like these are not stopping anytime soon,” said the daily.

The arrests are the third such incident in three months after the two countries agreed in December 2015 to reinitiate the dialogue process when Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan.

“However, the scheduled talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries were postponed after the Pathankot airbase attack in India last month. In the previous one, Pakistan’s marine forces arrested 66 Indian fishermen for allegedly violating the country’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea,” said the editorial.

It noted that although it is important to ensure the sanctity of borders, these fishermen are usually very poor and mostly lack the equipment to ensure that they are staying within the borders of their own country.

“These fishing boats that lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location and accidentally cross boundaries.”

The daily added: “All that is needed is a treaty that makes sure that innocent people on both sides do not languish in jails for such mistakes, as bigger issues like the actual demarcation of territory around areas like Sir Creek remain irresolvable.”

“Poor men in jail, for crimes of omission due to a lack of official clarity, does no country any good,” it said.

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