Two days after Pakistan announced the goodwill gesture of releasing all the Indian fishermen in its custody, 48 of them were let off by the Sindh Government on Monday. All of them were housed in the Malir District Jail in Karachi and are scheduled to cross over into India by foot on Tuesday at Wagah/Attari.
The remaining 32 fishermen in Malir Jail will be released shortly, police officials said. These two batches of fishermen could be released soon after the federal government announced the decision primarily because their nationality had been confirmed.
The remaining 192 Indian fishermen in Pakistani custody await consular access for verification of their identity. Since most of them have no documents on them at the time of arrest, establishing their identities can be a tedious process as the Indian High Commission has to send their claims to their home districts for verification.
Pakistan had announced the release of all Indian fishermen in its custody on Saturday during External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna’s visit as a goodwill gesture.