Vadodara: External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna should take up with Pakistan the issue of releasing
550 Indian fishermen languishing in the neighbouring country`s
jails, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said today.
On the eve of Krishna`s three-day visit to Pakistan
from Wednesday, Modi said that Krishna should take up the
issue with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mohammed Quereshi
and see that the fishermen released from Pak jails along with
with their 440 boats. The fishermen held by Pakistan are from
Gujarat, union territory of Diu, Daman and Dadranagar Haveli.
The fishermen were arrested by Pakistan from Sir Creek
area of Arabian Sea at Jakhau in Kutchch District, bordering
with Pakistan a couple of years ago.
Modi said, "I want these
fishermen to reunite with their family members before the
beginning of ensuing festival seasons of Raksha Bandhan,
Janmasthami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Diwal` as they are
very important festivals for them which are celebrated all
across the state."
Most of these fishermen have completed their jail term
awarded to them by the Pakistani courts on charges of
illegally straying into Pakistani sea waters and many of them
have been facing health-related problems, Modi said.
These are all poor fishermen who ventured into the sea
and none of them is involved in any crime, Modi said. "Looking
at this angle,Krishna should stress upon Quereshi on releasing
them without any further delay," Modi said.