Indian, Pakistani fishermen are innocent, free them: Daily / Agency | January 09, 2018 04:44 PM
Indian, Pakistani fishermen are innocent, free them: Daily


Islamabad,  A Pakistani newspaper on Tuesday urged Islamabad and New Delhi to find a "common-sense humanitarian solution" to the problem of detaining fishermen from both countries who it said posed no security threat.

The Express newspaper hailed the release of 147 Indian fishermen from Pakistani custody on Sunday as "a very welcome development".

Both India and Pakistan have over the years detained many hundreds, probably thousands, of fishermen that have crossed into one another's territorial waters unknowingly, it said in an editorial.

"The underlying assumption is that these men are potentially ‘spies', engaged in intelligence work for their respective countries.

"A cursory examination of records in the public domain reveals that there are no convictions for espionage by detained fishermen of either country.

"Many are detained for years, their boats lie rotting and their families never knowing what exactly the fate of their breadwinners is. The boats they sail are simple, generally wooden and of artisanal construction," the editorial said.

"Beyond a compass most have no navigational aids and GPS trackers are virtually unknown in the poor fishing communities... Few will know precisely where they are on the face of the earth and will be unaware of having crossed an invisible line in the water."

In the present case, the travel expenses of the detained Indian men was borne by the Edhi Foundation of Pakistan which also gave them gifts and cash.

"Their boats will not be going with them and they will be starting from scratch - no easy job when you have little to begin with."

Pointing out that more Indian fishermen were held in Pakistani jails, the daily called for "a common-sense humanitarian solution to a problem that in reality threatens the security of neither India nor Pakistan".

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