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Indian fishermen entering Pak waters for eco gains: Foreign Office

Written by: Staff

Islamabad, July 3 (UNI) Pakistan today said large number of Indian fishermen were entering its territorial waters for economic gains.

''There is a certain 'pattern' and it is more of an 'economic issue', rather than mere inadvertent crossing,'' Pakistan Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told a press briefing here.

She said Pakistan since 2003 has released 2452 Indians, including 208 civilians and 2244 fishermen.

On the contrary India released 659 Pakistanis including 299 civilians and 360 fishermen, she said and added it was a clear reflection of the way things were moving. ''Just look at the number of those arrested, 90 per cent are Indian fishermen,'' Ms Aslam added.

Recalling the recent exchange at Wagah, she said India released 38 Pakistanis, while Pakistan released 39 including 20 fishermen and 19 others.

She said, ''Five hundred Pakistanis were still in Indian jails including 30 fishermen and it was likely that Indian authorities would provide consular access'' to them by July.

Meanwhile, Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted her as saying the Foreign Secretary meet between India and Pakistan to review the third round of Composite Dialogue is likely to be held on July 20 in New Delhi.

Asked whether the US had assured Pakistan of providing the F- 16s, Ms Aslam said ''I do not think there will be a revocation of the deal,'' and added ''we do not entertain any suspicions that it will not get through.'' She said the US administration has formally notified the Congress about the sale of F-16 which requires a 30-day period.


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