Pakistan hands over 173 prisoners to India

Lahore, Feb 16: Pakistan today handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border 172 Indian fishermen and another prisoner released from two jails in Karachi in a goodwill gesture.

The fishermen who were released yesterday had been held at the Malir and Landhi District Jail in Karachi for allegedly violating Pakistan's territorial waters in the Arabian Sea.


Majority of the fishermen released were those who had completed their sentences. Their release came days after the Prime Ministers of the two countries decided to resume high-level contacts.

In a statement, the Foreign Office today said, "Pakistan has always held that the issue of prisoners between the two countries is a humanitarian one and should be taken in that spirit."

"It is our hope that the Government of India would also release all Pakistani prisoners who have completed their sentences," it said.

India and Pakistan regularly arrest fishermen who venture into unmarked territorial waters of the two countries. Last month, Pakistani marine security forces arrested 38 Indian fishermen after they strayed into Pakistani waters.

Pakistan in November last year released 40 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, from a jail here after Sharif shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with Modi at the SAARC Summit in Nepal.


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