18 Indian fishermen arrested in Pakistan

SansadTV Bureau

Pakistani authorities have arrested 18 Indian fishermen and seized their three boats for allegedly violating the country’s territorial waters.

The fishermen were arrested by Pakistan’s Maritime Security (PMS) forces on last Sundays night in the Arabian Sea off the Karachi coast, Pakistan television channel reported.

No official of the PMS was available to confirm the arrests.

Normally Indian fishermen arrested by the PMS are handed over to the Docks police after initial interrogation and then they are produced before a judicial magistrate.

India and Pakistan routinely arrest fishermen on charges of entering each other’s waters as the maritime boundaries between the two countries were poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology to be certain of their precise location.

Many fishermen languish in jail for months even after completing their prison terms.

Governments of both countries have from time to time released these fishermen from their jails as a goodwill gesture.

Last month Pakistan released 172 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture after Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, informing him about Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Pakistan.