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25 May 2017

Pakistani court orders to set free 350 detained Indian fishermen

Indo-Pak relations: Pakistan repatriates arrested Indian fishermen

According to a news report, a Pakistani Court ordered for 350 Indian fishermen imprisoned for fishing in Pakistani waters to be repatriated/sent back to India.

The repatriation order was issued as a show of the Court's leniency after the fishermen pleaded guilty to the charges they were informed of.

It further directed jail authorities to make repatriation arrangements in consultation with concerned departments.

In context

Indo-Pak relations: Pakistan repatriates arrested Indian fishermen

What has happened till now?

Cases against the fishermen had been filed at the Docks police station. The fishermen were detained after Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency confiscated around 60 boats found illegally fishing on Pakistani waters, in a series of steps taken between January 27 and May 4, 2017.

What went down?


What went down?

The repatriation order was made after Judicial Magistrate Salman Amjad Siddiqui visited the prison in Malir, where the Indian fishermen were being housed, in order to indict them.

The order recognized the time period of eight months spent in Pakistani prisons by these fishermen as sufficient punishment.

The Magistrate also ordered Pakistan's interior ministry to release the fishermen at the earliest.

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Why is this significant?

Due to lack of clarity on the maritime boundary between India and Pakistan, it is routine for both countries to arrest and detain trespassing fishermen.

Obtaining release of prisoners from both ends is termed difficult due to bilateral relations governed by mistrust.

The current release stands out as a goodwill gesture, when bilateral relations stand marred by escalating tensions in recent times.

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