Pakistan frees another 100 Indian fishermen
Pakistan on Thursday released 100 more Indian fishermen from a prison in the southern port city of Karachi, prison authorities said, Xinhua reported.
It is the second group of the Indian fishermen to be freed in four days.
On Monday, Pakistani authorities had already released 100 Indian fishermen from a prison in Karachi.
They were held for fishing illegally in Sir Creek, a narrow strip of marsh land separating India's western border from Pakistan.
Pakistan and India routinely arrest the other nations' fishermen for alleged border violations.
Some 442 Indian fishermen who completed their prison sentences will be released in four batches. This was the second batch.
Another group of 101 prisoners will leave the prison on Sept. 4, while the last group of 141 prisoners will leave on Sept. 6.
They are being released on the order of the federal government and on the request by a legal aid committee, which helps in securing the release of Indian prisoners. A similar committee, comprised former judges, is also working in India to secure the release of Pakistani fishermen and civilian prisoners.
The freed fishermen will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border on Friday, sources said.
They boarded busses in Karachi and will arrive in Lahore early Friday. Members of the legal aid committee gave them gift and Indian currency. The freed fishermen looked happy on their release as they came out of the prison.
Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, had filed a petition in the Supreme Court for release of the fishermen.
There are 456 Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails but the government ordered the release of 442. The fate of 14 other fishermen was not yet known.