18:42 GMT29 September 2020
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    As a goodwill gesture, the Pakistan government has unilaterally decided to release 439 arrested Indian fishermen. Islamabad has in the past undertaken this gesture to signal its readiness to improve bilateral ties with India.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Pakistani authorities will release the 439 Indian fishermen in two batches. According to the Spokesperson of the Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), a NGO striving for the Indo-Pak amity, the first batch of 220 fishermen will be released on December 25 and the second batch of 219 on January 5, 2017.

    After this goodwill gesture from the Pakistani side, PIPFPD has said India should also reciprocate the gesture by releasing Pakistani fishermen lodged in Indian prisons.

    Around 516 Indian fishermen are in prisons in Pakistan while around 80 Pakistani fishermen has been languishing in Indian prisons.

    PIPFPD has been demanding that India and Pakistan should release all fishermen lodged in their respective prisons.

    India and Pakistan had set up an India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners in 2008 to look into the matters pertaining to the prisoners. The committee used to meet in every six months but no meeting has taken place for the past two years.

    Both countries frequently arrest fishermen from the other country for the alleged violation of territorial waters in the Arabian Sea and this is one major source of irritant in the bilateral ties.


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