India assures consular access to jailed Pak fishermen

RSTV Bureau
Symbolic Image ( PTI )

Symbolic Image ( PTI )

In a move to accelerate Humanitarian diplomacy, India on Friday said it would give consular access to the jailed fishermen from Pakistan and other nations so that their identity could be established. This came a day after the Indian authorities announced that 88 Pakistani fishermen would be released over the weekend as a “goodwill” gesture.

Home Ministry will soon facilitate visits of officials from Pakistan and other nations to the prisons in order to identify and establish nationality of fishermen lodged there, a Home Ministry official said.

The Union government had announced that it would release 88 Pakistani fishermen over the coming weekend as a goodwill gesture after Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed the decision to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif earlier this week.

As per the initiative, India has already communicated the decision to release the 88 Pakistani fishermen to their High Commission in India and was now waiting for the exit documents from Pakistan mission.

Reciprocating the gesture by Indian authorities, Pakistan on Thursday said that it would release 113 Indian fishermen lodged in a jail in Karachi. They are expected to be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border.

PM Narendra Modi had conveyed his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif about the decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on this pious occasion of Ramzan. The PM had called up Sharif to wish him for the beginning of Ramzan.

“The fishermen released will be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month,” PM Modi said.

In addition to this, PM Modi had also reiterated that there is a constant need for having peaceful and friendly bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.

India’s gesture comes in the backdrop of a war of words with Pakistan in the wake of India’s military action into Myanmar last week.

(With inputs from the PTI)