Pakistan Releases Over 200 Indian Fishermen In Goodwill Gesture

Pakistan Releases Over 200 Indian Fishermen In Goodwill Gesture

Pakistan today released 220 Indian fishermen held for allegedly violating territorial waters, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday, goodwill gestures that came despite strained ties over cross border terror incidents. They are expected to return to India on Monday.

A spokesperson of the Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) had earlier said that India should come forward after this goodwill gesture from the Pakistan and release Pakistani fishermen held by Indian authorities.

Last year, the Indian nationals were accused of entering Pakistani waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where the border is unclear.

December 25 is the birthday of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

"We have released 220 Indian fishermen this morning", senior police officer Sada Hussain Zardari told DPA.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours have been more fraught than usual since a crackdown by Indian forces on dissent in Indian-controlled Kashmir began in July.

The same number of Indian fishermen remains in Pakistani custody; however Pakistan's Dunya TV said the second batch of fishermen could be released on January 5, 2017.

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