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Pakistan releases 100 Indian fishermen

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Relief at last: Indian fishermen, who were detained by Pakistani authorities for fishing in the Pakistani territory, after their release in Karachi on Friday.
Relief at last: Indian fishermen, who were detained by Pakistani authorities for fishing in the Pakistani territory, after their release in Karachi on Friday.

Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan released 100 Indian fishermen from a Karachi prison on Friday, prior to their repatriation.

The fishermen were being taken in buses to the India-Pakistan border at Wagah and scheduled to reach there on Saturday morning. They are to cross over into India some time during the day on Saturday after completing immigration formalities.

The release was a “goodwill gesture” announced by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani earlier this week.

Hundreds more Indian fishermen remain in Pakistani jails, besides other Indian prisoners. Mr. Gilani’s gesture invited some adverse remarks in Pakistan’s parliament on Thursday. A senate committee was informed that there were more than 1,000 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails, and the Indian government was not showing any interest in releasing them. Members of the committee are reported to have observed that “the Pakistan government is releasing the Indian inmates in Pakistan as a goodwill gesture, while we are getting the bodies of Pakistanis in response,” a reference to the deaths of Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails.

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