The Pakistan government is expected to release 365 Indian fishermen from its custody on August 24, a Gujarat government source said.
"We have received this information from the Union External Affairs Ministry of the government of India and we are waiting for official written communication in this regard," he said. There are 437 fishermen from various parts of Gujarat, besides union territories of Diu and Daman,who are lodged in different jails located in Karachi and have completed their jail terms.
The Jamnagar native and independent Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani had written to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week for the release of all fishermen from jail on humanitarian grounds. Nathwani had also written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue with his Pakistani counterpart.
Speaking to PTI, Akhil Gujarat Machhimar Maha Federation vice president Veljibhai Masani who represents Gujarat fishermen said "I, alongwith Jatin Desai, a social activist had met senior Pakistani High Commission officials in Delhi on August 13 and requested them to release these fishermen from Pakistani custody".
It may be be recalled that prominent human rights activist and Pakistan's former federal minister for human rights Ansar Burney had taken up the issue with the Pakistan government. He also urged the Indian government to reciprocate Pakistan's gesture and release Pakistani prisoners who have already completed their jail terms in India.