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India releases 13 Pakistani prisoners including two women, girl

LAHORE: India on Thursday freed and handed 13 Pakistanis including two women and a teenager over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah-Attari border.

Mumtaz and Fatima, two sisters, were apprehended by Indian authorities on a drug trafficking charge while they were travelling to India via Samjhauta Express in 2006. Fatima’s 10-year-old daughter Hina was then born during the imprisonment, as she was pregnant at time of her arrest.

The sisters are said to be residents of Gujranwala, who were arrested while they were going to meet their maternal uncles in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar.

The women were sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison and fined Rs200,000 each. Their jail term was ended earlier this year but the sisters were behind bars due to non-payment of the imposed fine.

Later, a non-government organization (NGO) in India paid the amount to free the sisters.

In Oct, Pakistan freed as many as 68 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters.

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.

Ties between India and Pakistan have remained strained since an attack on an Indian army base in the disputed region of Kashmir last year.

There have since been repeated incidents of cross-border firing, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries.



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