Pakistan To Return 199 Indian Fishermen On May 12

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Pakistan To Return 199 Indian Fishermen On May 12

| Updated: May 8, 2023 12:55

Pakistani authorities are expected to move forward with their goodwill gesture and release the 199 Indian fishermen who were detained for allegedly fishing illegally in Pakistani waters on Friday, despite the death of an Indian civilian who was supposed to be repatriated with them.

According to Kazi Nazir, a top police official in Sindh’s jail and corrections department, the pertinent government ministries had instructed them to get prepared to handle the release and repatriation of 199 fishermen on Friday.

The Indian authorities will receive these fishermen at the Wagah border after they are transported to Lahore. These fishermen are currently being held at the Landhi jail. He stated that despite Zulfiqar, an Indian civilian prisoner who was scheduled to be repatriated with the fishermen, died on Saturday from illness in a Karachi hospital, the goodwill gesture process was proceeding as planned.

“According to officials at Landhi jail the Indian prisoner had complained about high fever and chest problems and his condition deteriorated last week so he was sent to the hospital where he passed away due to apparent lung infection,” he said.

An official of the Edhi Welfare Trust said that Zulfiqar’s death was not a mystery because conditions in the Landhi and Malir jails are far from ideal and inmates with poor health and chronic illnesses struggle to get regular, proper treatment. The Edhi Welfare Trust typically arranges for the safe transportation of these Indian fishermen to Lahore and offers other assistance in jails.

According to the official, serious illnesses are typically beyond the capabilities of prison medical staff or the hospital, so they advise sending the patient there before it’s too late. The Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy reports that despite serving out their sentences, 631 Indian fishermen and one other prisoner are still being held in Karachi’s Landhi and Malir jails.

Adil Sheikh, who works with the forum in Karachi, claimed that these Indian fishermen were all imprisoned in Pakistan after being apprehended for allegedly breaking the agreement between Pakistan and India on marine territorial demarcation. He continued, “Nearly all of them are poor illiterate people.”

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