05:01 GMT26 November 2020
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    Pakistan and India frequently arrest each other's fishermen as there is no clear demarcation of the maritime border in the Arabian Sea. These fishermen do not have boats equipped with the technology to know their precise location.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistan has arrested a total of 34 Indian fishermen for allegedly violating the country's territorial waters, a Pakistan Maritime Security Agency official said on Wednesday. This is the first incidence of fishermen being arrested since January.

    According to the agency, the fishermen were arrested on Tuesday for fishing illegally in Pakistani waters. Six boats were also confiscated.

    READ MORE: Pakistan Provides Consular Access to Indian Citizens in its Jails

    In April, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry announced it would be releasing 360 Indian fishermen from its prisons in four phases. Its last batch comprising 60 fishermen was released on 29 April, days after releasing 300 others in three phases on 8 April, 15 April and 22 April as a "goodwill gesture". 

    The gesture was witnessed amidst existing tension between the two countries, and especially against the backdrop of the Pulwama terror attack in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 security personnel.

    The decision had been taken after India's Ministry of External Affairs sent a note verbale to Islamabad regarding its long-pending request for the release of civilian prisoners in Pakistani jails on 2 April.

    READ MORE: Humanitarian Gesture: Pakistan, India Release Each Others' Prisoners

    India had mentioned in its note verbale that there were 385 Indian fishermen who had completed their jail terms in Pakistan.

    In May 2018, both countries revived a decade-old mechanism of the Joint Judicial Committee that looks into humanitarian issues of fishermen and prisoners in each other's custody.

    The committee members visit and meet prisoners in each other's jails and propose steps to ensure humane treatment and expedite the release of inmates who have completed their prison terms. The committee met seven times between 2007 and 2013.




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    Arrest, fishermen, international waters, prison, India, Pakistan
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