146 more fishermen are expected to be released and repatriated on January 8
Pakistan today freed 145 Indian fishermen, held for allegedly fishing in its territorial waters, as a goodwill gesture amidst a war of words between Islamabad and New Delhi on the circumstances in which a recent meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his family took place.
They were released following last week's announcement by Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal that 291 Indian fishermen would be released in two phases till January 8.
The fishermen were freed from the Malir jail and taken amid tight security to Karachi Cantonment Railway Station, from where they will be sent to Lahore, a police official said.
"They will be handed over to Indian officials at Wagah border crossing tomorrow," the official said.
The remaining 146 fishermen are expected to be released and repatriated on January 8.
Those released were also given gifts and cash prizes by Edhi Foundation charity, which traditionally helps in the repatriation of Indian fishermen.
Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other's territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid being drifting away.
Since the last five weeks, the Pakistan Maritime Security personnel have arrested around 168 Indian fishermen with the last contingent of 28 being arrested earlier this week from the Arabian sea.