Islamabad says BSF personnel arrested fisherman Gul Bahar from Sir Creek, a disputed area for which peace talks are ironically slated to be held next month.

Pakistan has served a démarche on India strongly protesting the incarceration and manacling of a fisherman who it says was abducted from its territory.

Claiming that the manner in which the fisherman, Gul Bahar, has been detained does not bode well for resumption of dialogue, Pakistan says the incident took place on July 23 when Border Security Force personnel arrested Mr. Bahar from Sir Creek, a disputed area for which peace talks are ironically slated to be held next month.

Public opinion in Pakistan was inflamed following photographs showing Mr. Bahar being heavily manacled in the manner of a dreaded outlaw rather than the fisherman he is.

Pakistani media claims the fishermen were fishing in Sir Creek near Zero Point and at the junction of Badin and Thatta when an “Indian Naval Task Force team attacked them” and detained Mr. Bahar along with his boat, while others managed to flee.

The démarche submitted by Pakistani Acting Deputy High Commissioner Obaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani to Director (Pakistan) in the Ministry of External Affairs, B. Shyam, said the arrest does not bode well for the India-Pakistan dialogue to normalise ties which is likely to resume soon.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also slated to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif in September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Pakistan has sought the immediate release of fishermen and return of their boats.

According to a report prepared by Aman Ki Asha, a civil society initiative to improve ties between the two countries, “With no other source of income and the general lowering of water levels in the Indus delta (the current unprecedented floods are an aberration), Pakistani fishermen are forced to venture further out at sea to earn their livelihood. They also fish in the 17 big creeks of the Indus River, including Kajhar, the last creek in Pakistani territory, near Sir Creek. Indian border forces often arrest them in or around this non-demarcated area, charging them with border violations and also sometimes, terrorism. Life for Indian fishermen is no less perilous.”