Pakistan to release 34 Indian prisoners this week
Islamabad: Pakistan will release 34 Indian
prisoners, including a fisherman suffering from cancer, this
week as part of steps to normalise relations between the two
The prisoners, including 26 fishermen and eight others
arrested on charges like illegally crossing the border, are
expected to be repatriated via the Wagah border on April 13,
Indian and Pakistani officials said today.
However, leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney
has offered to immediately airlift fisherman Samant Lakshman
Bambhaniya, who is suffering from cancer of the leg.
"I had taken up Bambhaniya's case with the President and
Prime Minister and would like to see that he gets home as
quickly as possible," Burney said.
Bambhaniya belongs to Dandi village in Gujarat and is
currently being held at a jail in Karachi, Burney said.
"Fishermen of both countries are frequently arrested
because some times while fishing, they unintentionally enter
each other's territory and get caught," he said.
"These fishermen have to suffer for so many years in the
jails of Pakistan or India. They are illiterate and innocent,"
India and Pakistan have released scores of prisoners, a
majority of them fishermen, since they resumed their peace
process last year after a gap of over two years in the wake of
the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The two sides are working on an arrangement for the speedy
repatriation of fishermen detained for inadvertently crossing
the maritime boundary.