KARACHI: Pakistan on Sunday released 68 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters as a goodwill gesture to its neighbour India, officials said.
The freed fishermen could be heard chanting ‘Pakistan zindabad‘ (long live Pakistan) at the Karachi Cantonment Railway Station, from where they boarded the Allama Iqbal Express en route to Lahore.
They will be handed over to Indian officials at the Wagha border.
66 of the 68 fishermen belong to the Indian province Gujrat, while two are residents of Uttar Pradesh.
Talking to the media, the Indian fishermen said that the behaviour of the Pakistani jail officials was very cooperative and they were allowed to carry out religious rituals on Diwali.
Indian and Pakistani fishermen are frequently detained for illegal fishing since the Arabian Sea border is not clearly defined and many boats lack the technology to fix their precise location
The fishermen often languish in jail, even after serving their terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two neighbours mean fulfilling bureaucratic requirements can take a long time.
Pakistan released 78 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters in July this year.