KARACHI: Pakistan on Monday released 30 Indian prisoners including 27 fishermen as a humanitarian gesture to mark the Independence Day on 14 August.
“This is in line with Pakistan’s consistent policy of not politicizing humanitarian issues,” Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said in a statement.
The spokesman expressed hope that India would also reciprocate in a similar manner.
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.
In July 2017, Pakistan had released 78 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters. While both the countries often apprehend fishermen from each other’s countries for trespassing into territorial waters.
Lack of Demarcation
The lack of demarcation of territorial waters between Pakistan and India results in the inadvertent crossing over of fishermen of both countries into each other’s territories.
For common fishermen, it is always a wonder to know where the boundary starts and ends in sea. This tricky situation further aggravate with wind flow, waves and turbulence that push the boats in sea.
The UN law advocates minimum penalty including a warning and fine to fishermen for this offence and releasing their boats.