'Goodwill Gesture': India Releases 30 Pakistani Fishermen, Civilians

'Goodwill Gesture': India Releases 30 Pakistani Fishermen, Civilians
Pakistani and Indian authorities released fishermen as well as civilian prisoners under 'goodwill gesture', on Saturday.

Some nine fishermen belonging to Sujawal district and 21 civilians were released by Indian authorities.

They were nabbed by India's border security forces from the seabed territories of Pakistan on different occasions.

The released fishermen and civilians reached Pakistan via Wagha border, and will now be sent to their native areas after necessary formalities.

The released fishermen include Majeed Solangi of Keti Bunder town of Thatta district, Bux Ali and Iqbal hailing from Shahbunder town of Sujawal district, Abdul Munaf, Sher Ali, Achar Malah, Saleem Borhio, Qasim Malahand Ahmed Jat, residents of different villages of Jati Taluka.

Meanwhile, a key official of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Noor Muhammad Themore told this correspondent that around 47 fishermen of Thatta and Sujawal districts are still languishing in Indian jails and facing all sorts of hardships.

Read this too: 'Gateway To Unemployment': Pasni Fishermen Demand Restoration Of Inactive Fish Harbour

"Fishermen released from Indian jails are diagnosed with different diseases at a later age", he revealed and added that Indian authorities had always violated international laws and provisions of the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights].

Moreover, Yasmeen Shah, daughter of Muhammad Ali Shah, a fisherfolk rights activist, held that the mother and sisters of incarcerated fishermen had been waiting for them for the past many years.

She urged Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to take notice of the issue to ensure release of their dear ones.

It was reported earlier this year that the family members of nine fishermen belonging to village Yaqoob Jat of Shahbunder Taluka of district Sujawal are passing through tough times after delays in the return of their loved ones, who were released from Indian jails in January.

The ordeal of fishermen community from the coastal areas of Thatta and Sujawal district is enigmatic. Many of the fishermen who had been in Indian jails quit fishing upon their return, fearing re-arrest, according to an official.

The author is a practicing lawyer and freelance journalist. His areas of interest are cultural diversity and socio-political issues of Sindh.