Guj boat mechanics apply for visa to Pakistan

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Vadodara, Mar 10: Over 150 boat mechanics from Gujarat and Diu have applied for visa to Pakistan in order to undertake repair works of 57 seized Indian boats, anchored at a Karachi port.

Pakistan government had ordered to release the boats in May last year.

boats

The Pakistan High Commission in Delhi granted visa to the 8-member delegation from Gujarat last week for visiting Karachi to bring back the boats.After the grant, the department has submitted visa application of 157 mechanics from Gujarat and Diu to undertake repair works of the boats, Superintendent of Gujarat Fisheries department, K B Thakur said .

"We have submitted applications of 157 mechanics to the office of Pakistan High Commission on Monday. These mechanics are from Gujarat and Diu as many of the boats (out of 57) are from Diu," he said.

He said of the 57 boats, 53 require minor repairs while the remaining ones major repairs and it is an important exercise to check sea worthiness of the boats before they could be physically brought back to India.

Thakur said the delegation, which include leaders from fishermen community and an official of Gujarat fisheries department, have reached Karachi on Monday. "The team will take a stock of the boats and the work required and accordingly, based on their briefing, we will send a team of mechanics," he added.

The decision to release the 57 fishing boats came after an announcement by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the eve of his visit to Delhi in May 2014 for attending the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PTI

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