Vadodara, March 3: A four-member delegation of the Gujarat government today left for Pakistan to inspect the 22 Indian boats seized by that country's marine security force and discuss modalities to bring them back.
The delegation, headed by deputy director of state Fisheries department M K Chaudhary, left for Karachi in the wee hours of today, Gujarat Fisheries Commissioner M H Narmawala said. He said the team will hold meeting with Pakistan Marine Security Agency (PMSA) for the release of the boats and sending them back to India.
The 22 boats are among the 861 seized by Pakistan in the last 13 years. These boats and many fishermen are apprehended by the PMSA for allegedly violating its territorial waters. The visas of the four delegates were granted by the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi on Tuesday.
Narmawala said the state government had initiated the process of sending a delegation last year in October but there was a delay in issue of visas by the Pakistani authorities. Fresh efforts were made by the government last month seeking visas.
"During the tour, the delegation will visit ports for verification of the boats and will check and inspect their seaworthiness. The delegate will return to Gujarat on March 6," Narmawala said.