Islamabad, June 18 (IANS) Pakistan on Thursday released 113 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The release came on a directive of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of a similar announcement by his Indian counterpart Narenda Modi.
The fishermen, who had been kept in Karachi’s Malir jail for nine months to a year, were put on a train bound for the eastern border city of Lahore from where they will return to their home country, Duniya news reported.
Earlier, Modi also conveyed the decision of the Indian government to release detained Pakistani fishermen. He said the fishermen released would be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month.
Modi recently accused Pakistan of backing terrorism against India while Pakistan’s leadership reacted angrily to remarks by Indian leaders that a cross-border raid against militants was a “message” to Islamabad.
In a tweet, Modi said: “Also conveyed to PM Sharif our decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on this pious occasion.” He said in another tweet that the fishermen were being released so that they could be with their families to “observe this blessed month”.
Fishermen are frequently arrested along with their boats by both India and Pakistan as the maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined, and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.
Both countries also use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time.