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Pak to release 74 Indian fishermen on Monday

Source: PTI
November 01, 2003 21:18 IST
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Pakistan on Saturday announced that it would release on Monday 74 Indian fishermen who were in its custody in Karachi.

Pakistan foreign office officials were quoted as saying that the Indian fishermen would be released as part of measures announced by Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali in May in response to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's offer of friendship.

Earlier Pakistan released 269 Indian fishermen held in Karachi prisons and linked the rest of 74 to the release of the 93 Pakistani fishermen held in Gujarat.

India has already conveyed to Pakistan its readiness to release the Pakistani fishermen.

Pakistani high commission in New Delhi has sought permission for its officials to visit Gujarat on Monday for issuing temporary passports to the Pakistani fishermen languishing in various jails in the state.

Meanwhile, 16 more Indian fishermen were taken into custody in two phases by Pakistani Coastguard during the past few weeks.

They will be released separately after Indian officials identify them.

The release of the fishermen on both sides followed as Pakistan accepted Indian proposals for a closer coordination between coast guards of both the countries as liberalisation of rules for fishermen of both the countries to fish in their mutual waters.

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