199 jailed Indian fishermen to be freed by Pakistan

The fishermen were arrested for allegedly fishing illegally in Pakistani waters, and are currently lodged at the Landhi jail…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistani authorities are reportedly set to release 199 Indian fishermen on Friday, as part of a goodwill gesture.

The fishermen were arrested for allegedly fishing illegally in Pakistani waters, and are currently lodged at the Landhi jail. They will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border.

Despite the death of an Indian civilian prisoner, Zulfiqar, who was due to be repatriated with the fishermen, the release is expected to proceed as planned. Zulfiqar died in a Karachi hospital due to an apparent lung infection.

According to the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, around 631 Indian fishermen and one civilian prisoner are still in Pakistani jails, despite completing their sentences. Both Pakistan and India frequently detain rival fishermen for violating their poorly marked maritime boundary.

Ties remain strained

ours after being named and shamed by External Affairs Minister Jaishankar as “as a promoter, justifier and spokesperson of a terrorism industry which is the mainstay of Pakistan”, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed his visit to India to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ summit a “success.”

Addressing a press conference on Friday after the summit, Jaishankar hit out at Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s ‘weaponising terrorism” remarks at the SCO meeting and said that the victims of terrorism and perpetrators of terrorism cannot sit together to discuss terrorism. “I want no citizen to be a victim of terrorism, we all have to fight terrorism as one, if we remain separate, we will continue to be victims of it,” Bilawal said in a video shared by the Secretariat of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman on Twitter.

Soon after his return to Pakistan from India, where he spoke at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hailed his trip to India as a “success”, the Dawn reported.

He termed Jaishankar’s comments about him being a perpetrator of terrorism as a “joke”, the Dawn reported. “This country knows me, have I once even in my political history accidentally sat down with a terrorist?,” Dawn quoted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as saying.

“They don’t see that even in our country we (PPP) perform a role in the first ranks against appeasing terrorists,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he did not want any Pakistani, Indian or citizen of any other country to fall victim to terrorism, adding that people would continue dying “until we keep politicising this issue and become part of the geopolitical game being played in the world and this region, ” the Dawn reported.

“A false narrative is being propagated by the Indian Foreign Minister.. and this narrative has been damaged by my visit to India, my speaking and my stand,” The Secretariat of Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman shared a video of Bilawal as saying.

He said that a “bipartisan approach across the geopolitical divide” was needed to address terrorism. He added, “We will have to combat it together as one and will keep being victims to it if we remain divided.”

Addressing a press conference after the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting held here on Friday, Jaishankar called out Bilawal Bhutto over Pakistan’s double standards on terrorism. (with inputs from ANI)

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