Pakistan frees 48 Indian prisoners as 'goodwill gesture'
11 September, 2012
KARACHI: Pakistan on Monday released 48 Indian fishermen, 10 of them teenagers, as a "goodwill gesture" following a visit by the Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna.
In a sign of thawing relations, Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar last week inked a historic agreement to ease visa restrictions between the two countries. The release of fishermen is part of an understanding between the nuclear-armed rivals to free citizens who mistakenly stray into each other's waters.
"We have released 48 Indian fishermen from Malir jail in Karachi as a goodwill gesture," southern Sindh prison's Deputy Inspector General, Nusrat Mangan said.
Officials said they expect India would reciprocate the Pakistani gesture by releasing more than 200 Pakistani fishermen languishing in Indian jails. Pakistan and India frequently seize each other's fishermen, accusing them of violating their respective maritime boundaries in the Arabian Sea.
Last year they resumed their tentative peace process, which collapsed after the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, killing166 people, were attributed to Pakistani terrorists by the Indian government.