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Pakistan releases 18 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture: officials

Indian fishermen

ISLAMABAD, 05 JUNE, (DNA) – Pakistan on Sunday released 18 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture, officials said.

The fishermen, who had been detained over illegal fishing in Pakistani waters, were set free from a jail in Karachi’s Landhi jail.

The fishermen will leave for the eastern Lahore by train from there they will proceed for India through the Wagah border, said spokesperson of Maritime Security Agency said.

Pakistan has so far released 199 Indian fishermen during the current year. In March, Pakistan released 173 Indian fishermen in two groups.

Pakistan and India routinely catch fishermen who cross water boundaries for illegal fishing.

Groups working for the welfare of such fishermen said the fishermen mistakenly enter other’s waters as the two rivals have not yet reached an agreement on maritime boundaries.

The fishermen were set free at a time when relations between Pakistan and India are at loggerhead over investigation into the attack on an Indian airbase in early January.

India had blamed a Pakistan-based group “Jaish-e-Mohammad” for the attack that prompted action by the Pakistani authorities against the outfit.

Director General of National Investigation Agency of India Sharad Kumar said in reported comments that there is no evidence so far to indicate direct complicity of Pakistan government or Pakistani agencies in the Pathankot attack.

He reportedly said no evidence to show that Pakistan government or Pakistani government agency was helping Jaish–e–Mohammed or its chief Masood Azhar or his aides carry out Pathankot attack.

Pakistan had detained Azhar and several other activists after the attack.

India had postponed official talks with Pakistan that had been scheduled to be held in mid-February following the attack. =DNA

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