India frees 14 Pakistani prisoners

09:19, June 29, 2011      

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The Indian government on Tuesday released 14 Pakistani prisoners, including 10 fishermen, who were arrested on violation of sea waters and border-crossing mistakenly, Pakistani official sources said.

Indian authorities handed over the prisoners to Pakistan border force at Wagah boarder, officials said. The prisoners will be allowed to go home after verification of their documents, they said.

Pakistan and India regularly arrest each other's fishermen after they enter waters of other country as both countries have no maritime boundaries. The two countries have held series of talks to determine maritime boundaries but have not reached any conclusion.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rahman Malik told a group of visiting Indian journalists in Islamabad on Monday that Islamabad has suggested that fishermen should be let off at sea after verification that they have just strayed into each others waters unknowingly.

Meanwhile Pakistan and India have set up integrated check posts along the Wagah border to boost trade between the two countries, officials said.

President of Pakistan-India trade forum, Amin Hashwani told the media the decision of setting up a checkpost at Wagah border was taken some three years ago and kit was materialized on Monday.

He said that similar check posts were also being established at the border of India, Nepal and Bangladesh to increase business activities in the region. Hashwani said that a huge amount was being spent on the construction of check post at Wagah border.

There is a general perception that trade volume among the regional countries like Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh must be given due importance, he said, adding that earlier, trade and business activities were limited in these areas.

He said that an agreement was made to expedite economic and trade relations through the checkposts being set up at the borders of South Asian countries. He said goods from Afghanistan can be transported to India via Pakistan, adding that establishment of these check posts would be helpful in future for increasing trade volume.

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