Pakistan hands over 17 Indian prisoners as goodwill gesture

18:48, June 23, 2010      

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Pakistan on Wednesday handed over 17 Indian prisoners at its eastern Wagah border to the Indian border security force as a gesture of goodwill, while the interior ministers conference of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is in progress in Islamabad to remove bottlenecks among the member countries.

The prisoners were serving in different Pakistani jails on charges of illegally crossing border, over staying their visas, smuggling and insufficient travel documents.

The government of Pakistan has decided to release the 17 Indian prisoners on Tuesday, one day before the SAARC interior ministers meeting and two days before a meeting of foreign secretaries from Pakistan and India in Islamabad.

Expressing happiness over the granted freedom and returning home, the Indian prisoners lauded the good treatment in Pakistani jails and hoped that the Indian government would reciprocate by releasing Pakistanis languishing in Indian jails.

Pakistan and India are holding hundreds of each other prisoners, mostly fishermen who are caught after they entered each other's water boundaries.

Meanwhile, the Indian naval boats have aggressed upon Pakistani fishermen in the open waters of the Arabian Sea on Tuesday, as they shot volley of gunshots at them, local media reported.

A spokesman of the Fisher Folk Forum said that the Indian naval personnel also confiscated a boat Al-Jalal and sailed it along with them from the Pakistani waters.

At least five fishermen, who jumped into the water to escape showering Indian gunshots, swam to safety at Jaati, a coastal town near Thatta in the southern Sindh province that borders India on the east, the spokesman added.

Source: Xinhua


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