KARACHI: Pakistan jail authorities on Sunday released 78 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters, officials said.
“The fishermen were released from Karachi’s Landhi jail,” an official of the provincial home department of Sindh, Naseem Siddiqui said.
The freed fishermen are expected to cross over into India on Monday.
Siddiqui said “298 Indian fishermen are still imprisoned and will be released on completion of the verification of their nationalities by India.”
The fishermen were transferred to Lahore through train, and will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border. Saad Edhi said the travel costs have been borne by the Edhi Foundation.
The fishermen said they were were really happy and were looking forward to meet their loved ones back home. They were also given departing gifts.
Indian and Pakistani fishermen are frequently detained for illegal fishing since the Arabian Sea border is not clearly defined and many boats lack the technology to fix their precise location.
The fishermen often languish in jail, even after serving their terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two neighbours mean fulfilling bureaucratic requirements can take a long time.