Indian fishermen freed from Karachi jail

KARACHI, Pakistan, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A total of 180 Indian prisoners were released Saturday from prison in Karachi, Pakistan, as a goodwill gesture on the New Year, officials said.

Pakistan released 179 Indian fishermen and one civilian from Landhi jail in Karachi, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.


The fishermen will be handed over to Indian authorities in Lahore at Wagah border Sunday.

"The authorities today have released 180 prisoners which is a very positive development and a vindication of our efforts to improve relations between the two countries," said retired Aslam Nasir Zahid, who works for a non-governmental organization that helps Indian prisoners jailed in Pakistan.

Another 276 Indian fishermen remain in jails across Pakistan, the Press Trust of India reported.

About 320 Indian fishing boats are also in custody in Pakistan, Zahid said.

Pakistani marine authorities frequently arrest and seize Indian fishermen and their boats when they cross into Pakistani territorial waters.

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