Islamabad: Pakistan will free 15 Indian fishermen, who were arrested on charges of violating the country's maritime boundary, on Monday, officials said on Saturday. The fishermen, some of whom had completed their prison terms months ago, will be released from a jail in Karachi.
They will be taken to the Wagah land border crossing and repatriated to India, officials of the Indian High Commission told PTI. Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney has said that the expenses for repatriating the fishermen will be borne by his trust.
The fishermen being freed were identified as Lakha Deva Bhaliya, Misri Solanki, Parkash Solanki, Karo Govind Vaja, Sunjay Jeeva Saraniya, Jeeva Badiya, Bhika Bamaniya, Amrit Lal Bamaniya, Vijay Lakshman Solanki, Jitendra Kumar Vans Jethwa, Kalu Ram Vala, Chunnilal Krishan Bamaniya, Babu Bhika Bamaniya, Mansukh Solanki and Premji Rama Jethwa.
In October, Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency had arrested 57 Indian fishermen on charges of illegally entering the country's exclusive economic zone. The arrested fishermen sometimes languish in jail for months even after completing their prison terms.
After the two countries revived their peace process last year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, they took several steps to speed up the release of the fishermen.